Title – Long Shot (2019)
Director – Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies)
Cast – Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Bob Odenkirk, Ravi Patel, Andy Serkis, Alexander Skarsgård
Plot – Recently fired journalist Fred Flarsky (Rogen) reconnects with his old babysitter, potential love interest and possible US president Charlotte Field (Theron) as the two start to build a friendship on a whirl wind press tour.
“We did almost just die, though, right?”
Review by Eddie on 22/08/2019
An adult oriented comedy that coasts off the back of the chemistry between its two leads, Long Shot fails to rejuvenate the mismatched rom-com genre in any significant way but with a constantly moving plot and some genuine belly laughs, Jonathan Levine’s polished genre entry is the perfect companion to a casual night in on the couch.
Honing his skills with similar comedic outings such as The Wackness, 50/50, The Night Before and the lets just forget it ever existed Snatched, Long Shot sees the talented filmmaker provide a rather generic affair that offers up very few narrative surprises (you know exactly where this plot is headed from the moment the whole shebang begins) for viewers but this isn’t the type of film that necessarily needs surprises or rulebook change-ups to work and thanks to the on paper intriguing match-up of Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, Long Shot remains constantly enjoyable.
Failing to inspire much memorable material over the last couple of years, it’s great to see Rogen team up with someone as talented as Theron, who here let’s all her inhibitions go and delivers a knock-out turn as potential American president Charlotte Field, a talented woman just as at home negotiating climate change initiatives as she is rocking some Eminem branded clothing and having a night out on the town.
Rogen’s usual slacker/joker role isn’t stretched in the slightest here as likeable but awkward journalist Fred Flarsky but his everyday charm is perfectly bought to life thanks to the support of Theron’s glowing turn, in what’s becoming a seriously impressive few years for the actress thanks to stand-out performances in Mad Max: Fury Road, Tully and Atomic Blonde.
Theron seems like a naturally gifted comedic actresses, blessed with timing and character beats that only the best of genre specialists can deliver, it’s always a joy to watch an Oscar calibre performer get back to the simple yet entertaining heart of their profession and while she’s been a part of comedy outings before, Long Shot really does allow her to have time to shine and Theron is more than up for the task as Field and Flarsky’s budding romance begins to build around a bunch of rather strange and over the top scenarios.
It is a shame that Levine’s material doesn’t really try to be anything but a by the numbers affair as you get the feeling that both Rogen and Theron would’ve been more than capable of getting their hands dirty on some off-kilter comedic adventures but in an age where mainstream and cinematic comedy offerings appear to be a dying breed, it’s refreshing to see a film of this ilk actually deliver on its promise of laughs and not take itself too seriously in the process.
Final Say –
Unlikely to leave any type of lasting impression in the years to come, Long Shot is still a likeable and often very funny comedy outing that wonderfully brings together Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in a match-up that ensures even when the film lurches into mediocrity, they are there to correct the path whenever needed.
3 changed laughs out of 5
Thank you for this detailed overview. I have to admit that my spending time on any Seth Rogen vehicle is always a “long shot.” You correctly point out Rogen’s possession of everyday charm (although I’m personally not sure of the charm part). Perhaps I’ve never forgiven Rogen for Knocked Up, or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never seen him in anything that didn’t make me wish I’d spent my time in some more productive way. (I know my anti-Rogen bias borders on irrationality). Your review contains the information I would expect of any SR movie, although your analysis is much more professional and balanced than mine would be if I saw and reviewed it.
You would do well to check out 50/50, I thought he was really great in that and it was a lovely movie. He is certainly not for everyone though, I know a lot of people that avoid him at all costs.
Charlize was amazing in A Million Ways to Die in the West as well.
I know what to watch for some simple viewing now.
She’s such a talent mate, equally at home in comedy as she is in drama.