The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Enjoy

June 14, 2013

Benji Tunnell: Vaughn, Wilson phone it in for 'Internship'

JOPLIN, Mo. — Product placement has become an accepted part of everyday life. Movies were an early adopter of the idea, and some films have shown it is possible to include blatant product placement while integrating it into the plot.

One of the funniest scenes in "Wayne's World" was the simple act of running through all of the sponsors in one shot. The filmmakers knew that they needed to get the plugs in and opted to just get them out of the way. Likewise, in "Happy Gilmore," Adam Sandler just tosses a Subway ad directly into the film, leading to the final showdown in the movie.

"The Internship" is the story of a vast conglomeration in the form of Google opting to have a two-hour advertisement for all of its various products, ostensibly as a lighthearted comedy about the crushing weight of an unstable economy once someone is no longer part of the younger demographic and finds himself unemployed. Or at least I think that was it.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play Billy and Nick, respectively; two watch salesmen who find themselves out of work after their company folds. The two flounder, underqualified for any line of work other than sales -- until Billy, on a whim, decides to apply for a Google internship for the both of them.

Despite their woeful lack of education, experience or competence, they manage to be selected for the program. This reflects very poorly on the overall screening process of a multi-billion dollar corporation, given that the two had only enrolled in the University of Phoenix shortly before so they could claim to be college students -- but we wouldn't have a movie if Google had higher standards, so off they go.

Upon arriving at the Google campus, the two immediately find themselves overwhelmed and out of place. They are assigned to a team of geniuses because no one else would have them, and their teammates rightfully resent these two incompetent buffoons, weighing them down as they try to land a job that could determine the rest of their lives.

Do the two succeed, against all odds and despite having no discernible skills, and manage to land one of the most coveted jobs in America? Does Nick win the heart of the ice queen far too young and sensible to ever give him a second glance? Does Billy get over his constant self-sabotage to finally begin to make something of his life? I'll give you two guesses, and the first one doesn't count.

The problems with the film are plentiful, and they start from the beginning. The movie opens to the beginning strains of Alanis Morissette's "Ironic," a hackneyed tune from the era in which these two found their greatest success as salesmen. And, much like how Morissette's lyrics don't seem to grasp the definition of the word irony, this movie doesn't seem to grasp the idea of comedy.

Vaughn and Wilson long ago decided that they didn't need to act when people would just cast them in films playing themselves. I remember how much I loved Vaughn's character in "Swingers"; all obnoxious bravado. Then he played the same character in "Made," again in "Dodgeball" and "The Wedding Crashers" and pretty much everything else he's done lately.

Likewise, Wilson has played the same floppy-haired, laid-back guy in just about everything he's made that wasn't directed by Wes Anderson or Woody Allen. The complete lack of variation in their roles has made each character seem interchangeable and generic. Once again, they don't seem intent on mixing it up for this film. It makes for two completely disposable and forgettable characters.

The script is pointless, plodding and dull, something most likely sketched out around the idea of making "Google: The Movie." When other characters act with resentment or outright hostility toward Billy and Nick, we are meant to be sympathetic to the two leads, yet every other character is completely justified in their feelings. These guys don't belong in the internship program, and them just being there risks torpedoing those who are actually qualified and should be there -- much like younger, more talented actors would be right to resent others for phoning in performances for big paychecks while they are scrounging for roles as extras.

There are thousands of funnier and more entertaining films out there. Rather than waste time and money on such redundancy, do a quick search on the Internet to find something more deserving of your attention. Only, consider using Bing.

1
Text Only
Enjoy
  • Wichita.jpg Going Western: Indie film 'Wichita' to show tonight at MSSU

    Nicholas Burton isn't exactly raising a cash cow on his livestock ranch. But the Wichita, Kan.-based filmmaker has an advantage over other film producers: Westerns are in high demand, and he's in the perfect spot to make them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041114_pajama game.jpg Love, labor liven up JHS musical 'Pajama Game'

    The spring musical put on by the Joplin High School Theatre Department deals with a labor of love among a labor dispute.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • MSSU choir, orchestra combines for performance of legendary 'Carmina Burana'

    The free performance is a joint effort between the Southern Symphonic Chorus, which is composed of the MSSU Concert Chorale and volunteer singers, and the orchestra, which is made up of Missouri Southern students, faculty and professionals from the community.

    April 11, 2014

  • 1520face.JPG Globe Phone Test: Nokia Lumia 1520's outstanding camera offset by frustrating OS

    On Monday, news broke that flight attendants aboard Delta Airlines flights would receive Nokia Lumia 1520 devices in October. The devices will have flight manuals, support on-board sales, allow attendants to process credit card payments and crapcan heavy 500-page manuals they used have to bring.

    The move is similar to how American Airlines attendants were give Galaxy Note phablets. Because Delta already gave attendants similar smartphones, it's reasonable to assume that the company places a lot of faith in the Windows Phone system.

    But Delta's choice of device is puzzling because the 1520 is better suited to take photos and videos of people on board an airplane, not take their drink and meal orders. And because the device is so big, I'm not sure how flight attendants would feel carrying it around in a cramped flight.

     

    As the iOS and Android systems struggle for the top smartphone operating system, Microsoft's Windows Phone has scratched its way into the No. 3 spot, pushing past BlackBerry. Nokia, once one of the top names in devices, is pairing with Microsoft to make a device that features an incredible camera. The company already made the Lumia 1020, which features a humongous 41-megapixel camera that does amazing things.

    The Lumia 1520 is its biggest offering to date. The device, available exclusively from AT&T, is one of the biggest phablet-style phones on the market today. For about 10 days, I tested out a black-colored device provided by AT&T.



     

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jermiah-Tucker-020812.jpg Jeremiah Tucker: Kurt Cobain likely would have thrived in today's music scene

    I have no memory of the day he died. A friend asked me about this recently, and I said at that age -- I would've been 13 -- I was probably still rocking my cassingle of the Escape Club's "Wild Wild West." Needless to say, my middle school years were rough.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_108172906 Benji Tunnell: 'Winter Soldier' sets a high bar for summer movie season

    If a film was truly great, it would be held until June or July. Or so the thinking might have been before the release last week of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marta-mug.jpg Marta Churchwell: Joplin mural part of Benton's larger message

    Recently, I received information on Joplin's celebration of one of its native sons, Thomas Hart Benton. In observance of the artist's 125th birthday, City Hall will host a collection of his works alongside his mural that honors Joplin history.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 040814 Worldfest.jpg World Fest pairs well with Celebrate America

    The Slinkerds think Silver Dollar City's World Fest is a great opportunity to show their young children other cultures and introduce them to people from around the world.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ka-Pow! New attraction offers free-fall plunge

    On May 17, two brave souls willing to whether mid-May¹s unpredictable weather will climb into the two drop-floor aqua-launch capsules atop KaPau Plummet.

    April 11, 2014 1 Slideshow

  • Jermiah-Tucker-020812.jpg Jeremiah Tucker: Letterman performance gives deserved boost to Future Islands

    It's hard to believe an appearance on a late-night talk show can still make a band's career. It's such a common occurrence and the cultural currency of the late-night format has dropped so much in recent years that, short of literally setting the stage ablaze or stabbing the host, the most a band could hope for is a couple of polite blog notices.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Poll

In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

A. Yes.
N. No.
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge