Friday movie roundup: Not gaga over Google
Does the future belong to search-engine operators, or to armed marauders allowed to murder? That's what this weekend's big movie openings are asking.
"The Internship" is a weakly executed and oddly old-fashioned comedy set amid the rainbow-hued corporate optimism of Google. That's where laid-off salesmen Billy and Nick (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, reuniting almost a decade after "Wedding Crashers") hope to land a job. But first they have to survive a complex internship competition, conquer their technological ignorance, impress their 20-something teammates and (in Nick's case) maybe get the girl (Rose Byrne). Director Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum") fudges on the delivery, so what few jokes are available land with a thud.
"The Purge" is a muddled morality tale that plays like a bad "Twilight Zone" episode, with more violence. In America 2022, crime has been largely eliminated because of an annual event in which everything's legal for one night. One family, led by Ethan Hawke, aims to hunker down in their security-loaded house, but things devolve when a homeless man seeks shelter in the house and violent teens want the family to give the guy back to them. The moral dilemma of the script (by director James DeMonaco) becomes buried in button-pushing violence.
The week's best movie is "Stories We Tell," an absorbing documentary that dances on the line between truth and fiction. Director Sarah Polley points the camera at her own family, to unravel the secrets involving her late mother. The mix of interviews and what seems like a treasure trove of home movies yields surprises, and invites us to question how stories define our lives.
"Love Is All You Need" is a sluggish romantic comedy from Denmark, in which a hairdresser (Trine Dykholm) with an unfaithful husband (Kim Bodnia) meets a widowed British businessman (Pierce Brosnan) when her daughter and his son are to marry in Italy. Director Susanne Bier, known for dark domestic dramas ("In a Better World," "Things We Lost in the Fire"), is ill-equipped to handle such light fare â but eventually she creates some tender moments between Dykholm and Brosnan.
Lastly, there's "Sightseers," a dark comedy from Britain that's too dark for its own good. A new couple, Tina (Alice Lowe) and Chris (Steve Oram), go on their first road trip together â which is when Tina learns that Chris has a talent for murder. Lowe and Oram wrote the movie, but their humor is often too dry to be actually funny.