Vaughn and Owen Wilson are Billy and Nick, two freshly unemployed watch salesmen desperate to find work that isn’t demeaning. When Billy discovers the corporate utopia that is Google and its Googleplex HQ (nap pods! free pudding! volleyball courts!), he and Nick decide to apply to the company’s prestigious internship program in the hopes of landing a full-time gig with the search-engine giant upon completion. Teamed with a group of rag-tag misfits (Dylan O’Brien, Tiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael) and under the tutelage of geeky Google staffer Lyle (John Brener), the fellas quickly learn just how tech-unsavvy they are, and how rocky their road to victory (the winning team of interns automatically score job offers from Google) will be. The duo also winds up in the über-competitive crosshairs of snooty fellow intern Graham (Max Minghella), who’s determined to win at all costs… despite the fact that his asshat behavior goes against everything Google represents. (One of the film’s key story inconsistencies.)
What follows is, much like a typical sports-movie format, a series of challenges, ups and downs, and tests of faith for all our hapless heroes, who have to figure out a way to overcome their differences, work as a team and somehow emerge victorious despite their limitations. Thankfully, director Shawn Levy ensures the proceedings are super-clever (watch for epic levels of geektastic references sprinkled throughout) and move along at a lively pace. Though it’s nearly two-hours long, the movie never lags or drags.
Vaughn delivers his trademark endearing-smart-ass-with-a-heart-of-gold performance, and Wilson likewise churns out one of his standard-issue charming-guy-who-cracks-wise characters. But it all works, just like it’s worked before. Aasif Mandvi is an ideal comic foil and Byrne makes for a decent if somewhat bland love interest, but it’s the younger cast members who really get a chance to shine. Their characters are well-rounded and their personalities morph as their confidence grows.
And, at the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, you know what I loved most about this movie, though? That it’s clean. It’s not crass or rude or mean-spirited, the profanity is kept to a bare minimum and the film has a very distinct heart beating beneath its characters’ crazy antics. Vaughn wisely never tries to put down or make fun of the cast of oddball characters he’s co-created; instead, he – and his character – show them respect, treat them with kindness and, in the end, pretty much guarantee that you’ll walk out of the theater smiling.
The Blu-ray, which features the theatrical cut and an unrated version of the film, contains deleted scenes (most of them throwaway, except for one of a bizarre cosplay party featuring Will Ferrell as Boba Fett), an audio commentary by director Shawn Levy, and a strangely long-winded (almost 20 minutes) featurette called “Any Given Monday” about the Quidditch match in the film.