A running joke throughout The Internship is Vince Vaughn’s character’s repeated use of outdated Flashdance references as a way of inspiring his team of misfit Google interns. This is unfortunately a very accurate picture of the biggest fault of the film – just like your friend who still has a flip phone, the jokes are obsolete and outdated. From the generic 80’s underdog story to the decade old references, we’ve seen it before, and we’ve seen it done better.
The basic premise of The Internship is far from the worst idea for a movie (this weekend’s other premier, The Purge, seems to be vying for that title), but it doesn’t leave itself all that much meat on the bone either. There are only so many jokes to be gleaned from two out of touch middle-aged guys in the advanced world of technology, and most of them are knocked out before Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson even make it to the Google campus. Their jobs are made obsolete by these new-fangled cell phones, they have to conduct an interview with some crazy webcam contraption – it might as well be the Jetsons. Unfortunately, there’s only so much disconnect to be found, and the movie is left to turn into an underdog story that seems to be taking place at a high-tech company merely by coincidence.
As Vaughn and Wilson work their way through a summer internship with their rag-tag team of misfits, we are treated to a venerable museum of movie tropes. There is a self-centered bad guy with no backstory, an inspiring sports scene where the motley crew learns to work together, a closed-off loner who opens up and has a heart of gold, and a bonding montage for good measure. Unfortunately, The Internship is never able to find the heart behind any of these tried and true, if not overdone, staples of cinema. Even the love stories, of which there are several, have no exposition beyond “I saw this attractive woman, and I’d really like to date her.” Through it all, we have no reason to root for the impromptu heroes beyond the likeability of the stars; and even that is a bit of an outdated relic.
Despite the best of intentions, The Internship simply doesn’t have much of anything to offer. The film does steer clear of being offensively bad, but simply never moves beyond being anything more than a pleasant diversion. Vaughn and Wilson do show they can still be as charming as they were in 2003, but unfortunately they never have anything to work with besides a few funny asides that earned a quick chuckle. The rest of the cast does their best to infuse some energy into the film, but their efforts tend to err on the side of hyperactive rather than invigorating. Films are often labeled as being ahead of their time, however in the case of The Internship, we have a film that is about a decade too late.
My Rating: 1.5 Stars