When the sales company they work for goes bust, Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) fake college enrolment so they can take on a summer internship at Google. The trouble is that they know nothing about the digital world, and are at least 20 years older than their counterparts.
The Internship is one of those films that seems like a good idea on paper; two men lose their jobs and try to upskill in a hostile environment. There is little doubt that this film was inspired by the economic climate, but smart commentary on the state of America, this is not.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn play the same odd couple as they have done for many movies now, so these characters don’t feel new or in any way original. As well as this, setting these men in a world they do not understand feels like unimaginative story telling. Rose Byrne plays the love interest; an uptight Google executive who is always running to meetings and obviously needs Owen Wilson to teach her how to have fun. The interns in Nick and Billy’s group are made up of an Asian kid who wants to impress his parents (Tobit Raphael), an girl of Indian descent who thinks she’s Mindy Kaling (Jessica Szohr) and pretty much every other stereotype that you can think of.
The story is as uninspired as the character choices; the guys must bond with their team in order to do well and just when one of them thinks he is not cut out for this new digital world, a task comes along that he excels at. There is no problem with following a formula, but following a formula in a manner that is not funny and not clever is a big problem for a film starring several comedic actors that is actually meant to be funny.
The ‘jokes’ in The Internship do not land, including an extended cameo by Will Ferrell. In fact, the entire film ends up feeling a little embarrassing, boring and incredibly difficult to watch. The characters make such horrible decisions that it is hard to root for them, and they are so unfunny and such a void of entertainment that the only excitement comes from checking out Google’s headquarters. They have a slide! So cool!
The Internship is a shameful and shameless effort to cash in on so many people having to reskill due to economic troubles. The film is borerline racist, not entertaining and certainly not funny by any stretch of the imagination. Avoid at all costs; going to see this is the cinematic equivalent of self harm.