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Movie review: The Internship
Product placement is a common enough practice in today's commercial films. In fact, they probably wouldn't be able to make the kind of Bond films on the scale they do without them.
But when does it become too much? When are there one too many mentions of a certain product or service? As far as The Internship is concerned the answer is simple: when the product isn't just in the film, it is the film.
Try as hard as they might, long time friends Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are struggling with the current economic crisis; it appears that no-one wants to by watches any more. It really hits home in the middle of pitch to a client, when he informs them that their company is in fact bust.
Although skilled in the art of selling, the pair feel that they don't really have the skill sets to compete with the modern age, with its information superhighway and what not.
But while looking on the net for prospects, Billy has a brainwave; instead of searching Google for a job, why not try and get a job at Google? He discovers that the company has an internship programme that the pair could sign up to, so that's exactly what they do.
Getting their feet in the door of Google was the easy bit however, as only 5% of all the interns actually get a job at the end of it. To make matters worse, because of their age, the majority of young hipsters have no intention of being in the same group as them. As it turns out, they're not alone, as there are three other social misfit outcasts that are shunned by everyone else too.
With a group now in place, they then find themselves having to compete with some of the best and brightest the Google generation has to offer.
There's just no getting away from the huge presence of the online giant; a frame doesn't go by without either a mention or sight of their logo, making it the longest infomercial ever made.
It probably wins the greatest ever corporate video award too, making it a win/win for the popular search engine.
But despite the constant barrage of advertising, that really does leave a bad taste in the mouth after a while, there's no denying Vaugn and Owen's winning shtick. It felt, for a number of years, that Vaughn just wouldn't meet another actor to hook up with in quite the way he did with Jon Favreau in the early part of their careers. And yet his pairing up with Owen works really well, and could be the start of a beautiful on screen relationship together.
Director Shawn Levy keeps the laughs steadily coming, although at two hours long, it would have been far snappier half an hour shorter, but their sponsor would not have approved of that.
In one sense, the film is unique in that it's definitely of this time; it simply couldn't have been made twenty years ago, due to its close ties with technology. And yet, at the same time, it's really nothing more than a Mighty Ducks scenario – a group of awkward individuals coming together to battle adversity – brought to you by Google.
The corporate messaging may well be completely suffocating, and yet Vaughn and Owen still manage to make this a likeable and amusing flick worth searching out for – just don't bother using Google though, as if you put the film's title in, you're likely to simply end back on Google's home page once again.
The film does a great job of selling Google, but it's at the considerable expense of underselling its stars.
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