Published Jun 06, 2013They say lightning rarely strikes the same place twice, so it's no surprise that the re-teaming of Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson in The Internship isn't quite as rewarding as their 2005 hilarious runaway hit, Wedding Crashers. But it does manage to sporadically tap into the same potent chemistry between the two in spite of a script seemingly cobbled together from pieces found in some Hollywood vending machine.
Nick (Wilson) and Billy (Vaughan) are persuasive watch salesmen living in an age where no one needs watches anymore, yet they're still taken aback when their boss (John Goodman) unceremoniously informs them that he's closing his business. Forced to adapt to changing times, Nick eventually stumbles upon the desperate, but improbably successful idea of the pair interviewing for an internship at Google.
Over the course of one memorable summer they spend at the Google offices in California, intern director Mr. Chetty (The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi) puts them through a series of group challenges to determine who is truly deserving of a permanent position at the company. Saddled with a bunch of archetypal outcasts in their early 20s as partners, Nick and Billy begin to develop bonds while attempting to win themselves a future.
Nick's incredibly telegraphed romance with Google employee Dana (Rose Byrne) is indicative of the screenplay's derivative nature, content to play as a variation on a familiar tune and merely coast on the actors' talents. As an insufferable rival intern, Max Minghella gives Bradley Cooper's loutish boyfriend in Wedding Crashers a run for his money, taking villainy to absurd heights as he repeatedly berates an overweight teammate.
With the intern challenges each featuring a lengthy set piece, some are predictably more successful than others. For instance, the group's wild excursion to a strip club to ostensibly brainstorm ideas for a new app produces more laughs and excitement than, say, the ill-advised live-action game of Quidditch that makes up another head-scratching challenge.
It's almost as if Vaughan's efforts as co-screenwriter were made with the knowledge that he and Wilson would be at their best in loose scenarios where they could have fun bouncing the ball back and forth. The combination of Wilson's laidback Southern charm and Vaughan's manic energy is still as natural a comedic pairing as they come.
However, if The Internship leaves you wanting to see the two of them together again that's at least partly because we know they are capable of better. (Fox)