Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital revolution. Trying to prove they are not obsolete, they defy the odds by talking their way into a coveted internship at Google, along with a battalion of brilliant college students. But, gaining entrance to this utopia is only the start. Now they must compete with the nation's elite, tech-savvy geniuses to prove that necessity really is the mother of re-invention.
Review by Louise Keller:
There's something infectious about the Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn's brand of goofy humour and as expected, The Internship delivers laughs, screw ups and silliness in good, non-demanding escapist entertainment. Using the world of digital technology as a springboard, Vaughn's screenplay (co-written with Jared Stern) cleverly juxtaposes 'old fashioned skills' like interaction and communication with the cyberworld where Googliness is holier than Godliness.
It's clever because the target market goes beyond internet geeks and facebook addicts, embracing earlier generations who remember a time before seatbelts and cybersex, when life was learned from experience, not from fantasy. Championing hope and reinforcing self belief, this culture clash buddy movie may not change the world, but it's likely to paint a smile on your face.
The early scenes establish the relationship between Nick (Wilson) and Billy (Vaughn), salesmen who have learned skills like selling ice to the Eskimos through a lifetime of wheeling and dealing. The harsh, unattractive world of unemployment (when bluntly told by John Goodman as their sales boss) has no appeal and the gauche honesty Nick displays when he types into Google 'jobs for people with no skills' is perversely endearing. Watch out for Will Ferrell in a hoot of a cameo; he plays a mattress salesman with a Sanskrit neck tattoo.
The online interview with Google proves Nick and Billy to be totally inept and out of their depth but the Internship of the title is offered in the context of their exemplifying a different way of thinking.
The cool Google Headquarters in San Francisco show Nick and Billy in the worst light as they mingle among a switched on crowd half their age; their intern team mates comprise 'the left overs' including mother's boy Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael) and Neha Patel (Tiya Sircar) who lacks life experience. The 80s references from Flashdance under which they bond is very funny. Max Minghella plays a pretentious know-all who is keen to see Nick and Billy fail, while Rose Byrne is lovely as Nick's love interest Dana; the date scene is not what we expect.
There are some funny ideas and the club scene with pole dancers and red suspenders offering lap dancers unexpectedly results in a brainstorm at dawn by the Golden Gate Bridge. Director Shawn Levy handles the comic material well, but the mainstays of the film are its charismatic stars - Wilson and Vaughn do not disappoint.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
As Cast Away (2000) was a feature length commercial for FedEx with a good story and big star (Tom Hanks) so The Internship is a feature length commercial for Google ... with a so-so story and fairly big stars in Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. The latter play Billy and Nick, salesmen whose employer (John Goodman) - a watch distributor - has gone bust. The digital age has made watches - and their salesmen - redundant. So it is that the boys end up trying to get a job as one of the many summer interns at Google's San Francisco playpen-cum-HQ, competing for a full time job and perhaps a career at the end of it.
The humour comes from the combination of truth and make-believe as the two 30 something compete with the 20 somethings who are digital natives. They are not so much has beens in digital terms as never beens.
Vaughn's signature character of the blunt buffoon who is into every hedonistic activity at the drop of a hat continues to entertain his fans while Wilson's softer, hapless offside buddy persona balances Vaughn and excuses him for his behaviour.
The Google setting is mined for all its potential as a place where brilliant meets cocky and where life lessons from the older guys are eventually recognised. But not until lots of ego bruising and LOL collisions between the interns - like the self assured jerk (Max Minghella) as well as their leader, Mr Chetty (Aasif Mandvi).
The film is padded and thin, and the comedy feels like hard work. Apart from the occasional scene that works well, the film doesn't have the texture, imagination or layers to satisfy.
Email this article
INTERNSHIP, THE (M)
CAST: Rose Byrne, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Dylan O'Brien, John Goodman, Chiti Tiu, JoAnna Garcia
PRODUCER: Shawn Levy, Vince Vaughn
DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy
SCRIPT: Jared Stern, Vince Vaughn
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jonathan Brown
EDITOR: Dean Zimmerman
MUSIC: Christophe Beck
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tom Meyer
RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 13, 2013