“The Internship” (Action: 1 hour, 59 minutes)
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and Rose Byrne
Director: Shawn Levy
Rated: PG-13 (Sexual innuendo, profanity, crude humor and sensuality)
Movie Review: Usually, Vaughn and Wilson are tragically silly in films, often acting like adolescents. Here, they make their characters likable. Of course, this is easy when other characters are jerks.
Billy McMahon (Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Wilson) are washed-up salesmen. After they lose their jobs, they become interns at Google. They compete against many younger interns for coveted positions. McMahon and Campbell are two of the oldest interns. They are not technologically savvy, but they have experience and dreams. They only want a chance to acquire a position at Google.
If one can make it through the first 15 minutes, the movie becomes better. The first few minutes are filled with terrible acting and toilet humor gone awry. The jokes are lame.
Just when all appears a downward spiral, “The Internship” becomes a funny movie with a good message, especially an hour into its runtime. Directed by Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum,” 2006), it shows using technology is no match for wisdom gained from life experiences. The screenplay resides on that and scores major points for doing just that.
“The Internship” keeps its focus on showing how two aged misfits teach groups of 20-somethings life lessons. In return, the young cast members teach Vaughn and Wilson’s characters about modern technology. The result is a fun film with laughs and an emotional center.
Grade: B- (A worthy internship.)
“The Purge” (Thriller: 1 hour, 25 minutes)
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane
Director: James DeMonaco
Rated: R (Violence, strong language and sexuality)
Movie Review: “The Purge” is an interesting idea that goes violently wrong. It follows the Sandins, a wealthy suburban family. James (Hawke) and Mary (Headey) and their children, Zoey (Kane) and Charlie (Burkholder), are a typical family. They must survive “The Purge,” an eight-hour holiday in the United States that allows any crime, including murder, to be permitted. The Sandins are safe in their security-fortified mansion until Charlie allows a stranger into their abode. Running from a pursuing group trying to kill him, the stranger (Edwin Hodge) enters the Sandin house. The problem is a group of young college-aged people following the stranger want to purge him — i.e. kill the man. The group of killers warns the Sandins that they will force their way in and kill everyone if the Sandins do not send the stranger back outside for them to purge.
“The Purge” is a thriller with socio-psychological, political and philosophical themes. It addresses how the rich live versus the poor, the nature of violence, weapons and laws. The problem is the movie quickly ditches these intellectual concepts to become an overly violent, messy screenplay with plenty of overplayed themes. Even more, the characters become annoying because of several stupid actions.
DeMonaco (“Staten Island,” 2009) allows his characters to exist in an emotional state, but their actions are not convincing when compared to the story’s grandiose premise of total chaos for 12 hours. The event called The Purge is more interesting than the characters. This is the film’s great faux pas.
Think of “The Pruge” as an implausible, but thought-provoking piece. It could have easily been a great philosophical movie, but it plays for cheap thrills. It never quite becomes the good cerebral photoplay it could be. Simultaneously, it never reaches an apex as a suspenseful thriller.
Grade: C (This should have been purged.)