Yes indeed folks, one of our favourite movie comedians is back for another run: Seth Rogen and his hilarious laugh…and no, there’s no James Franco this time. In a dynamic duo with Charlize Theron, both of them explore the political scene in order to deliver the best possible gags. Directed by Jonathan Levine, that guy who offered us the excellent comedies 50/50 and Warm Bodies, and brought to us by the same guys who produced Neighbors and The Night Before, Long Shot, is a mix between a political and a romantic comedy with the line between the two genres getting easily blurred. Oh…want to know the best part? The movie is ALMOST entirely shot in my hometown of Montreal. Overall, quite a few good surprises are waiting.
Rogen plays a political journalist named Fred Flarsky who writes for an independent left-wing web media. You can tell by the production picture above, that he has a weird sense of style; not your typical big shot corporate shark. He writes radical opinion and factual pieces, but his editor likes it that way. One day, a big media mogul (Andy Serkis, really creepy make-up) buys the journal and Fred chooses to leave, in order to avoid any political biases. Now looking for work, and no success doing so, he chooses to cool off with his friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr, hilarious) and go out to an exclusive corporate party. There, we meet the lovely and do-gooder Charlotte Field, the Secretary of State (Charlize Theron). Funny thing, Fred and Charlotte bump into each other and realize that they are distant friends. Let’s put it this way, she once was Fred’s babysitter when they were in high school and she gave him a massive hard-on last time they saw each other. As Charlotte prepares to announce her candidacy to become the next President of the USA, she needs a speechwriter, a position she offers to Fred. A bizarre, but kind of funny, fit, the two of them leave with Charlotte’s cabinet employees on an international tour, thus allowing them to know each other better….and of course, you know, a certain romantic intimacy grows. Of course, not all of it is pure politics and romance, mix that up with a good number of vulgar, sexual and substance gags, and you get the secret sauce that is Long Shot.
For those of you eternal Seth Rogen lovers who, like me, watched Superbad, Pineapple Express and Knocked Up so many times, this movie might be just the thing. Sometimes stupid, sometimes very funny and sometimes a bit familiar, this comedy feels like ‘deja vu’ on certain occasions, but remains overall very entertaining. We owe this mainly to Rogen, who remains true to his persona as a laughable argumentative machine. Of course, beware, it might be better to leave your logic at the entrance of the theatre.
I remain mainly positive, but this comedy is far from perfect. As I said, the overall tone seems a bit familiar to other comedies, but its main flaws reside in some of the political stereotypes that are way too heavily exploited. Other than our two protagonists and the cabinet employees who share a chemistry that works, some secondary characters are not handled so well. You’ll see that in Alexander Skarsgard’s fictional personification of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, which is almost pathetic and over the top, as well as Andy Serkis’ take on the politically-biased business mogul. Strangely enough, the only one who seems to be on point is Bob Odenkirk and his sitting President who is obsessed by movie stars and his TV appearances (that reminds you of anyone? Wink wink).
Although Charlize seems a tiny bit uncomfortable in her comedic role, the chemistry and the gags shared with Rogen are still pretty good. However, the exchanges between Jackson Jr. and Rogen are truly the ones that will make you laugh so hard (keep an ear out for their interesting quarrel over racism, a nice piece of comedy writing).
Overall, if you go out with friends who share a similar taste in millennial vulgar humour, then make Long Shot your next movie night. Maybe not a particularly memorable movie in the long run, but good for a few laughs for sure. Before heading out, why not check out some of our latest works, including our spoiler review of the Game of Thrones episode, The Long Night and looking back on the legacy of the Terminator.