Google hires the brightest technological minds they can find. They search for a new generation of student, bred on HTML and CSS which build the backbone of the internet. Those people are thinkers. Chances are they’re piss poor Quidditch players.
Yes, Quidditch, the broomstick-between-your-legs fantasy game created for the wizarding wonder of Harry Potter. Internship would like to prove stereotypes wrong. Maybe the people who designed the search engine to bring you to this review are, in fact, champions at Quidditch. Maybe they are so resoundingly good at Quidditch, they test their interns on this topic when parlaying job candidates.
But chances are they don’t.
Billy McMahon (Vince Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Owen Wilson) dominate the Quidditch field. In fact, during their summer internship which only covers four categories, Quidditch becomes their bond. Locked to a team of outcast misfits with a tenth of the personality of the Bad News Bears, Nick and Billy cram four years worth of internet-ing knowledge in one season as they rise through the ranks. Fired from their long-standing sales position and desperate for employment, they (barely) enroll in college to gain access to Google’s competitive employment structure. Cue the saturation of older guys struggling to understand the web.
Their accomplishments are an impressive feat, although it is more of a feat this film was made. Credited to Vince Vaughn and Wreck-it-Ralph (Blu-ray review) writer Jared Stern, no one involved is a credited Google employee. Maybe they own stock instead, and that’s why Internship is obsessed with Google. In an era of egregious and eye rolling product placement, Fox delivers this cruddy comedy with plugs for everything the internet giant offers. Panoramas lazily peer over Google’s campus to ensure sunlight beams on their wacky logos. Conversations happen only over Hangout chat. Questions are answered with the search engine, and social media exists in a realm without Facebook. Oh, and cars drive themselves. Google has those too, driving empty while carrying more personality than archetypes considered “characters” in this feature.
Displaying with text how insufferably ridiculous and patently stupid this film truly is becomes a task of scale. With 20,000 words, it would be insufficient to properly conclude and deliver a message of adequate warning. Thankfully, Internship handles criticism internally. Fed up with Vaughn and Wilson’s clueless act, geek champion and cosplayer Neah (Tiya Sircar) screams, “You’re just saying a lot of words really fast that mean nothing.” That sums up everything Internship will do.
The film is little more than an amalgamation of ideas, plucked from quirky sports drivel, the embarrassingly slim romantic comedy, the fish out of water stories better suited to children’s animation, and of course the marketing film. People often lambaste cartoons as thinly drawn vehicles used to sell children products. In the ’80s, Mattel created He-Man which was shrewdly designed to market plastic action figures. Here in the second decade of the 2000’s, we have The Internship, existing to showcase Google’s bright, fluffy happy universe of products which are unquestionably the best because this movie said so. In other words, Internship is the comedy fish out of water sports movie equivalent of an ’80s cartoon franchise for adults.
Google is fine. Maybe you used them to find this review, or you are currently searching the site using an embedded plug-in provided by the search service. Google can do what they do because of their success. Internship is the ego though. It exists because Google does, and it so happens this masterpiece of abysmal narrative framework slips over their product. Internship pumps blood through a heart of cliches and predictability.
The only surprise is Quidditch and that doesn’t even make sense.
Digitally lensed from the Arri Alexa and plopped onto Blu-ray with a sufficient AVC encode, there are few barriers preventing Internship from success. Brightly lit to frame Google in (literally) the brightest light possible, few scenes are hindered by night. Those are off campus, where black levels can prove their worth with a less-than-dominating if still dense performance.
The key factor missing is fidelity. Despite the generalized light scheme which douses actors and actresses in vivid sun, facial definition veers stale. Numerous Owen Wilson close-ups carry an unmistakable filtered appearance, washing out flesh tones and bleeding detail. Impressive are those sulking, slow rises over treelines on the campus, flush with visible resolution. Where resolution goes in close is a cinematography or post-production bound mystery.
Early flirtations of noise are brushed aside for clarity, an odd anomaly of limited consequence. Internship floods the screen instead with colors, situated in a denser version of reality. Flesh tones are spotted perfectly while ample attention is paid to upping the primary color content. Multi-colored Google bikes splurge on the familiar hues of the logo, greenery on campus is rich, and office paint schemes are made to be appealing.
Internship visually lands in a pile of other modern comedies, above a level of mediocrity if ultimately forgettable in terms of looks. It is something to use for contrast tests and natural color showmanship, although Blu-ray is diverse enough to find something better in both sections. Fox does fine work on the side of compression to reflect the routine.
DTS-HD livens this comedy with the material it’s presented, and that is little to go on. Internship’s audio heart sits almost dead center near the hour mark as the team bonds during late night shenanigans. Out to bars and clubs, atmosphere is generated from crowds and music. Subwoofer thumping is offered from the ambient song selections and feels unrestrained. There is a liveliness to these moments.
Elsewhere, Internship takes to a single channel. Stereo use is poor and surrounds capture crowds with limited positioning. Take this one for its music and expected modern clarity.
Two cuts are offered for Internship, the unrated version adding six minutes of bulk to the PG-13 theatrical edition. Into the bonus menu, director Shawn Levy discusses his work in a commentary track, and eight deleted scenes run a hair over eight minutes. Finally, there is a faux NFL films-like feature on the Quidditch match. You can skip everything and miss nothing, although the Quidditch piece at least has some energy.
Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For more information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.