Film Review : Long Shot

Long Shot: Good for a few laughs 

Letterboxed Review “Long Live Stick Man”

    If you have ever seen a Seth Rogen comedy, you already know the formula. Rogen plays a loveable goofball along side a leading lady. You would never see them being relationship material. There is a situation in the film that normally involves the characters of Rogan learning to grow and become an adult. Along the way, you get the Off-colour adult humour that you come to associate with his films: the one that leaves the audience members in side splits or groaning. So, the stage is already set for Long Shot from director Jonathan Levine. Starring opposite Rogen’s goofiness, Charlize Theron balances the film with her strong presence.

    Jumping right away into the Trump climate of politics, Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is a journalist for a liberal independent news paper. When his newspaper is bought by a Roger Ailes type republican media mogul, Parker Wimbly (Andy Serkis), Flarsky quits on the spot. Having just quit his job he spends the day with his best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr) and ends up at an evening black tie event, underdressed in street clothing, with Boys 2 Men performing. At the event, he runs into Secretary of State Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who used to babysit a young Flarsky. Turns out that Charlotte has bigger ambitions of running for the presidency. President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk) is not seeking re-election and endorses Charlotte. In need of a speech writer with some comedy and some relevance, Charlotte turns to an unemployed Flarsky. Seen as the underdog and out of place, Flarsky proves himself in his work, and sparks fly in his relationship with Charlotte.  There are, however, political grenades that try to put a wrench the relationship. 

    Jonathan Levine sets the right tone of comedy for this film, in contrast to his previous comedy work, like Snatched from 2017. As opposed to some of the other leading women who have worked alongside Rogen’s comedy stick, Theron has some fun, particularly when drugs are introduced into the mix. However I feel that Theron has to conform to the off-colour humour not found in her other dramatic works, which seems out of character for her. Levine, having previously directed Rogen in 50/50 and The Night Before, uses his Off-Colour humour to it’s fullest potential, adding more physical comedy to Rogen’s repertoire of gags. The political satire of the film works: as much as we want to believe in the unromantic Hollywood romance, Rogen and Theron sell it.