out of Five
Running time: 119
Enjoyable, frequently funny comedy enlivened by winning comic performances from Vaughn and Wilson and a strong support cast, though it slightly outstays its welcome at two hours long and the weapons-grade product placement is so strong that it'll make you want to go home and Google things.
What's it all about?
Directed by Shawn Levy and co-written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern, The Internship stars Vaughn and Owen Wilson as Billy and Nick, two old-school watch salesmen who lose their jobs when their company closes. Whilst googling ‘Jobs for people with no skills’, Billy discovers the Google summer internship programme and after inexplicably passing the via-webcam interview, the pair find themselves at Google HQ in Palo Alto, competing against dozens of teenage tech-savvy geniuses.
Fortunately, the pair are placed in a team headed by nerdy leader Lyle (Josh Bremer) alongside brainy outsiders Stuart (Dylan O'Brien), Neha (Tiya Sircar) and Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael), which is just as well, because smarmy fellow intern Graham (Max Minghella) is determined to take them down. Meanwhile, Nick falls for gorgeous Google exec Dana (Rose Byrne) and Billy tries to stay on the good side of Mr Chetty (Aasif Mandvi), the no-nonsense head of the programme (‘More studying, less pudding’).
Vaughn and Wilson return to top Wedding Crashers form, delivering immensely likeable comic performances and sparking off each other in winning fashion – just try not to smile when they're singing along to Alanis Morissette's Ironic at the beginning. In addition, Bremer, O'Brien, Sircar and Raphael make their potentially stereotypical nerds into believable characters and there's strong support from both Mandvi and Byrne, though Minghella is a little wooden as Graham (The film also gets the traditional Will Ferrell cameo out of the way early on – he's very funny as Nick's sister's bed salesman boyfriend).
The witty script crackles with hilarious dialogue and there are several great gags, particularly Nick attempting to woo Byrne by deliberately behaving like a jerk. There's also an inherent sweetness to the main characters (any snarkiness is left to other characters), which is both refreshing and endearing, while the film also makes an amusing nod to the whole bromance thing by including a scene where it looks as if they're in bed together.
The main problem with the film is that there isn't quite enough material here to really sustain a two hour running time and some of the jokes (especially a lengthy Instagram-based routine) should probably have been cut. In addition, the industrial strength product placement will literally turn you googley-eyed and there are occasional lapses of logic – it seems unlikely, for example, that someone culturally aware enough to make references to Terminator 4 and The Hunger Games would never have heard of the X-Men's Professor Xavier.
The Internship is an engaging and enjoyable comedy that's consistently funny, thanks to a witty script and terrific comic performances from Vaughn and Wilson. Worth seeing.