Critical consensus, weak reviews for “The Purge,” weaker for “Internship”

internship_movie_1Scanning several reviews of the Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy “The Internship,” I see a running thread — nobody likes Google, which gets a big ol’ wet kiss in the movie. It’s about two 40something salesmen who have to start their careers over because nobody wears watches anymore. So they land internships at Google — too old, too out of touch to matter, out-of-place with all the bright young minds there. Hilarity ensues.
I love seeing these two together so much that I held my nose about the Google stuff. Nobody hates Google more than me, believe me — they’ve murdered newspapers and any number of other traditional businesses, Gmail is a mess and don’t get me started on their Blogger ripoff. And if you watch it closely, the movie hints at the wrappings of a culture that is impersonal, heedless of the harm it does and devouring everything in sight.

It’s a PG-13 rated “feel good” comedy, and I took it as such.

“The Purge” is a satire. And what did George S. Kaufman say about satire? It’s what opens Friday and “closes Saturday night.” This horror thriller sends up — in a grim and humorless way — a paranoid nation of haves vs. have-nots, embodied by a one night “purge” when those so -armed can go out and cull the population of those who “don’t contribute” to society, the economy, etc. Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey star as a couple who try to save themselves, their kids and their home from the rampaging preppies and rich neighbors who have designs on their fortress McMansion,

It’s preachy and heavy handed, and I’ve caught some wingnut abuse for pointing out its connection to the politics of the day (the whole NRA/Tea Party wet dream of America thing is there, front and center, and in most reviews).  Some reviews are embracing the message more than the movie.

“Rapture Palooza” stars Craig Robinson and mocks the New Testament accounts of “The End of Times.” And it’s grossly inferior to “This is The End,” which opens next week, also stars Craig Robinson and is also about “The End Times.

Orlando gets “Love is All You Need,” a sad-faced romance from Denmark that isn’t as romantic as one might have hoped. Grabber moments involving a woman surviving cancer only to catch her husband cheating, and then find love with the grumpy father of the groom (Pierce Brosnan) at her daughter’s wedding. It needed a lighter touch, something dramatic director and Oscar winner Susanne Bier seems to lack. Decent reviews, overall, for this one.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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