The Internship takes the bromance genre film and turns it into an extended advert for Google in this disappointing comedy, which rises above mediocrity in moments only thanks to the irresistible charisma and likeability of its lead actors.
The plot is formulaic and feels like it’s been done a thousand times before. Two high-end watch salesmen, Billy (Vince Vaughan) and Nick (Owen Wilson) have found themselves largely obsolete in a world increasingly dominated by tech-savvy graduates. After Billy stumbles across the Google internship programme, the pair set off on a mission to start afresh at the company, having inexplicably been given a place amongst the nation’s most promising young nerds. Assigned to a group with the internship’s token underdogs, the team has to fight for their future careers in an extended competition. Strip clubs, plenty of bickering and a dollop of rather sickly redemption bond the group together along the way, with suitably predictable results.
The scene in which they fight for their place on the internship via webcam from a library computer is arguably the only truly laugh out loud funny moment in the film, with Vaughan and Wilson proving that they’re still capable of the quick, sharp banter that made Wedding Crashers so funny. Otherwise, The Internship drags and falters by the second half. There is very little discernable message to the movie aside from how cool Google is as a company, and how badly we should all want to work there, which leaves one wondering just how much money the web giant poured into this film’s production. Rose Byrne is wasted as Nick’s love interest; the script renders her a two-dimensional nerdy sex object, while the supporting cast are all vaguely funny but are weighed down by the film’s script. The best moments in The Internship are when Vaughan and Wilson are allowed to bounce off each other in the style they’re known for, but even their crackling screen chemistry doesn’t save this rather dull affair.