July 13, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Geek Review: Long Shot

An idealistic journalist and a politically ambitious Secretary of State start dating.

Adam Sandler hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend, and that meant Opera Man returned to Weekend Update to point out that Seth Rogen’s new movie Long Shot featured a, let’s say, average looking goofball of a guy somehow winning over a woman who was way out of league.  Opera Man’s complaint?  That was stealing Sandler’s shtick!

He may not have been completely wrong, but I saw the movie anyway.

Activist, leftwing journalist Fred Flarksy (Rogen) just quit his job in protest when the small newsmagazine he worked for was bought out by powerful rightwing billionaire Parker Wembley (Andy Serkis under a lot of make-up and unrecognizable).  Meanwhile, Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is getting an endorsement from her boss, former-actor-turned President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk), for his job, but she somehow needs a big accomplishment to really cement her chances, and a big international environmental treaty could be just that.  As it is, Fred and Charlotte actually knew each other as kids, and a chance encounter between the two at a fundraiser causes Charlotte to hire Fred as her new speechwriter.  Will they also somehow kindle a romance?

So, I really enjoyed this movie, but for the most part, it seemed like most of Rogen’s various romantic comedies that he’s made for Judd Apatow.  Sure, most of them don’t feature Alexander Skarsgard as a handsome but dorky Canadian prime minister, but the general plot structure holds true.  Rogen has some funny scenes, Theron is charming, and overall the movie was fun.  I just felt like to a certain extent I’d seen it before.  It’s fine, and sure to please Rogen’s fans, but it is exactly what you probably think it is if you’ve seen anything like Knocked Up8 out of 10 unexpected Spawn references.

By the by, I wasn’t kidding on Serkis’ make-up.  I kept thinking he sounded familiar but didn’t realize it was him until the end credits rolled.  I’m so used to seeing the guy do motion capture that when he did prosthetics instead, well, once again he disappeared into the role.  The character does have a somewhat “fake” look, but I had no idea who it was until I saw his name flash by.  Why does this guy not have an Oscar?