Genial giant Vince Vaughn keeps making the same movie again and again, but he’s good at it, and "The Internship" is one more rehash of his fast-talking underdogs-band-together-to-triumph formula. Yet the script (which Vaughn co-wrote, pretty much a two-hour product placement spot) is mostly zippy and typically irreverent - "it feels good to laugh about Alzheimer’s" - and another recent film refreshingly set in Silicon Valley (Larry David’s "Clear History" also features shots of San José State University and references the Mercury News).
Aging buddies Vaughn as Billy and Owen Wilson as Nick lose their old-school watch sales jobs, because nobody uses watches anymore, says their retiring boss (another fine cameo by John Goodman), people use their phones to tell time.
So the Luddite lads land internships at the sprawling Google campus (shot on site in Mountain View, complete with nap pods, conference bikes, free food, volleyball and driverless map cars), becoming Noogles (newbies) under the tutelage of the exasperated Mr. Chetty (funny but scream-y Aasif Mandvi). The perennial playbook of "loser awakening" montages includes drinking binges, female subjugation at a strip club, and mumbling riffs. A 12-looking 20-year-old even notes "you’re saying lots of words really fast."
And that’s the blessing and the curse of the piece. The film explores what happens to the generation gap in the age of Google, the era of limitless information: what’s the visceral difference between actually living through the 70s, 80s and 90s (recounted via lots of "Flash Dance," "Star Wars" and Alanis Morissette’s "Ironic" song references) and just looking up this cultural material?
Blu-ray extras include audio commentary with director Shawn Levy, deleted scenes, and the featurette "Any Given Monday" about the filming of the Quidditch match (Vaughn’s team was Hufflepuff, of course). The dialogue is mostly silly, but occasionally astute, including a Malcolm Gladwell "Outliers" joke. And after failing to grab the Golden Snitch (a guy in a lame lamé suit with a tennis ball), Nick wonders "what does this have to do with computers?"
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