Like its stars stumbling late to maturity, The Internship failed to screen before press deadlines. We probably should have sent an intern, but Jay Horton went instead.
Critic's Grade: B
This isn't Vaughn and Wilson's first feature together, of course, but, though ads hawk the picture as vague thematic sequel (System Crashers?), this limp hackjob has none of its predecessor's biting wit or respect for storytelling. Whatever your feelings about Wedding Crashers' overgrown boys desperate struggle against maturationâwhich likely depends upon whether or not you believe anything of value would be surrendered in the processâthe film divided opinions precisely because it was about something, however fundamentally silly. So far as The Internship acknowledges meaningful issues, poking around at difficult questions regarding the fate of older workers in the new economy, any commercial will show all socially relevant moments in their entirety. After our heroes' return to their former (dingy, cramped) office and hear their former (selfish, loud, poorly-dressed) boss eulogize their former (laughably obsolete, criminally wasteful) industry, there's but a few brief scenes with Vaughn's shrewish paramour and the de rigueur Will Ferrell cameo as Wilson's brother-in-law before family and friends are blissfully abandoned forever on the road to Silicon Valley.
The film makes no apologies for an unflinching boosterdom of all that Google represents. Surprisingly, this less-than-anarchic perspective doesn't in any way diminish the constantly inventive, profoundly entertaining performances from our stars, and their nuanced, perfectly-pitched responses to the succession of awful lines badly delivered by two-dimensional characters renders the abysmal supporting cast merely a logical extension of the brightly-colored, whimsically-adorned Google HQ/theme park. By so neatly treading the line around the film's effective glorification of Google's mission while the characters' sardonic practicality cuts against the devotional corporate culture with every facial tic and vocal hesitancy, the film feels oddly reminiscent of Stripes. Another plotless star turn forging easy laughs from the sudden entrance of the old and apathetic into the land of true believers (and gearing motivation solely around momentary competitiveness or affection for the underdog), the deadpan stoner nihilism of early '80s Bill Murray enables satirical interpretations of jingoistic dreck just as Vaughn's fast-twitch rage mask and Wilson's predator shtick distort their movie's explicit message. However gleaming the Googleplex within The Internship's triumphant final shot, the film succeeds only so far as its heroes undermine the meaning of success.