Certificate 12A, 119 minutes
Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne
In The Internship Nick Campbell (Owen Wilson, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, No Escape) and Billy McMahon (Vince Vaughn, The Watch, Unfinished Business) are two salesmen who, whilst meeting with a client to sell him the new Chronoshock 2013 watch, discover that the company they work for, Sammy Boscoe Sales, no longer exists. Instead of them finding out from their boss, Sammy Boscoe (John Goodman, Monsters University, The Hangover Part III, ParaNorman) they find out from a customer that they are out of a job. They may be good salesmen, but they still need a job.
Nick starts working for his sister's boyfriend (Will Ferrell, Get Hard, The Lego Movie) as a mattress salesman. Billy, after searching on Google for jobs and not having much luck as the pair lack relevant qualifications, decides to search on Google for Google. What he finds makes him decide to enrol both him and Nick in Google's internship programme. Not a job at Google, but the possibility of a job at Google, if they pass the interview to first get accepted into the internship programme. Surprisingly, they do manage to pass, partly because they answer their interviewers weird questions in a completely unexpected way.
Their team is a disaster to start with. Billy and Nick have very little knowledge of popular culture after the 1980s; for example, not knowing anything about Harry Potter and believing Professor Charles Xavier is a real person when they are sent to look for him. They have so little knowledge of it that it's quite surprising that Billy actually knew how to use Google in the first place, especially as he keeps referring to "online" as "on the line." The driverless car comes as a bit of a shock too. They stick out so much from the group of, at the oldest, early twenty somethings that they make everyone else look like children. Another team led by the obnoxious and self-important Graham (Max Minghella, Horns, The Social Network) constantly hassles them, especially when Graham's team outperforms them which, not surprisingly, it frequently does.
The film holds no real surprises to the story. It's pretty formulaic in its execution; you can guess how the plot, such as it is, is going to unfold. Billy and Nick's team are misfits and initially fail at everything, including being a team; it comes as no surprise when any of these problems are surmounted. Vince Vaughn's character is one of his typical motor mouths. There's a definite bad guy and a definite love interest; both of these evolve in a predictable way. Another downside is that it does come across as a bit of an ad for Google. This possibly can't be helped, as it is set on their campus, in their buildings, using their products and services and showing how they can help. This means it goes way beyond product placement, as Google permeates every aspect and minute of the film. It's difficult to see how this can be avoided though without making it about a completely fictional company, which would have likely made the film much less meaningful, being about a random tech company rather than one that is as pervasive. Admittedly, the portrayal of Google has been given a very positive spin and is likely much more positive than is actually true. The Internship is a standard, feel good buddy movie, but it's still an enjoyable watch.