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Internship, The (Blu-ray Review)

7 Nov, 2013 By: John Latchem

Box Office $44.67 million
$29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sexuality, some crude humor, partying and language.
Stars Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Max Minghella, Josh Brener, Dylan O’Brien, Tiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael, Josh Gad, Jessica Szohr, Rob Riggle, Will Ferrell, John Goodman.

It’s always fun to listen to a Shawn Levy commentary. There’s just something infectious about the near-manic energy with which he tries to discuss absolutely everything related to making the film, as if you can’t help but appreciate the work that went into it. And the director definitely tries to sell the hell out of The Internship, brushing aside the disappointing box office generated by what would otherwise be considered a formulaic piece of entertaining fluff.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite for a Wedding Crashers meets “The Big Bang Theory” plot that finds them as out-of-work fortysomething salesmen competing for a job at Google against tech-savvy college students. The Internship almost feels like it could be the latest in a long line of movies starring these two on wacky adventures, if it weren’t just the second in 8 years.

Quickly finding themselves out of their league, the duo ends up having to motivate a band of misfits through a series of challenges, at the end of which the winning team will be given real jobs at Google, and everyone learns a valuable lesson along the way. While this may seem like a commercial for Google products, Levy insists the company had nothing to do with developing the film, beyond approving the use of their brand to lend credibility to a story about trying to find a place in a changing world. The real Google, of course, doesn’t host an Olympics-style competition to determine who it hires; if it did, there surely would have been a reality show about it by now.

Aside from making viewers jealous they don’t work at Google, The Internship also serves somewhat as an improv showcase, with much many scenes from Vaughn, Wilson and their co-stars improvised on the spot. This gives the film a much looser flow that helps it reach beyond the constraints of the plot.

The Internship is also notable for showcasing the first quidditch match outside of a “Harry Potter” movie, albeit the “muggle” version that adapts the game for a real-life setting. There’s an in-depth 17-minute documentary about filming the scene, which took place in the 100-degree heat of Atlanta, causing the film’s cast to be grateful whenever subsequent scenes took place indoors.

In the commentary, Levy admits that the film may have suffered from tonal problems, in that the producers couldn’t decide if they wanted to release the ‘PG-13’ or the ‘R’-rated version. This hints at the struggle they faced between the raunchier instincts you’d expect from a Vaughn/Wilson movie and more of the family friendly vibe with which Levy is usually associated. They ended up putting the watered-down ‘PG-13’ version in theaters, but included the longer cut on the Blu-ray, along with several deleted scenes. Levy’s commentary is on the theatrical cut, but as far as watching the film, it’s hard not to recommend just jumping into the extended cut, which Levy teases succinctly as “dirtier and slightly more boobie filled.”

The extended version also adds an end-credits gag that pays off a “Star Wars” joke from earlier in the movie. And any movie that gives us Will Ferrell in a Boba Fett costume can’t be altogether bad, right?

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