Let me begin this review by stating that, yes, The Internship does indeed play largely like a feature-length commercial for Google. After watching the movie, one would be forgiven for walking away with the impression that the aforementioned Internet giant is the best workplace in the world. Working at the Googleplex is, it seems, pure bliss, provided, of course, that one has what it takes and subscribes to Google’s core values. Maybe employment at Google really is that good, but that should not be the primary takeaway from a non-documentary feature film.
But enough about that. How well does the movie fare as a comedy, then? Not exceedingly well, it turns out. Some jokes, such as the one involving a Professor Charles Xavier look-alike—the most memorable scene in the film, actually—and the technology-related ones, are successful and generate at least a smile on the viewer’s face. Other jokes, however, have little or no effect at all.
In the last act, the identity of an odd character in the periphery is revealed, and that moment struck a chord in me. It must also be mentioned that the first part of the end credits is pretty cool, thanks to the clever references to various Google products and services.
Shawn Levy’s nondescript direction gets the job done, but that is about it. Furthermore, the predictability of the plot hurts the film. And the feeling that the material can’t quite justify a running time of 119 minutes doesn’t help, either.
Neither Vince Vaughn (also co-writer, together with Jared Stern) nor Owen Wilson leaves much of an impression in the roles of Billy McMahon and Nick Campbell, respectively. Their acting stays safely within the confines of the proverbial box. Instead, the best performance in The Internship comes from Tobit Raphael, who plays Yo-Yo Santos and evokes the viewer’s sympathy by making the most of the interesting character arc that he has been given.
All things considered, The Internship is an inoffensive, mildly amusing, run-of-the-mill comedy that embraces clichés in a straightforward manner. Though quickly forgotten when the curtains have closed, the movie is diverting while it lasts.