Long Shot is latest film from the mind of Seth Rogen and can be viewed as a mild departure from the typical style of comedy that he’s become known for. The plot follows Fred Flarsky, played by Rogen, as he reconnects with his childhood crush Charlotte Field, played by Charlize Theron. The twist, however, is that Charlotte has grown up to become the Secretary of State and is now vying for the presidency, whereas Fred’s path in life has led him to become a radical, leftist, broke journalist. The chemistry between the two, as well as the good intentions of wanting to make the world a better place, draw them together and an unlikely, yet sweet and honest, relationship develops. Despite the good-hearted nature of this film, I can’t say that I enjoyed it much at all. The best thing this movie has going for it is the chemistry between Rogen and Theron, which works surprisingly well. Although Theron does much of the leg work and is arguably the better actor between the two, their relationship is easy to buy into and there are some fairly touching moments towards the end of the film. However, I can’t say that I found anything in this film funny. Nearly every joke fell flat, either feeling like a retread of what Rogen has done in his previous films or misguided, shallow attempts at political satire. The movie clearly has a message, but the subjects and themes it decides to tackle, namely how partisan politics shouldn’t divide us and that corruption is bad, have all been thoroughly explored with greater depth and funnier laughs in other political comedies. However, comedy is subjective, and many of the other audience members were brought to tears from laughing so hard, so I don’t want to discourage anyone from checking this film out if they’re fans of Seth Rogen’s previous films, especially ones like 50/50 that tackle more grounded and serious topics. It just so happens to be that I’m not a huge fan of the style of humor that is brought to the table here. After all, you can only reference Boyz II Men so many times before you start to question if these screenwriters know about any other bands. Additionally, on the technical side, the shot composition and set design is lazy and bland. Although this is par for the course for films like this, as the film making is meant to be a framework for the jokes rather than provide the jokes themselves, it’s hard for me to give it a pass. If they didn’t confiscate everyone’s phones at the beginning of this screening, I would’ve been reaching for it around the halfway point due to how bored and disinterested I was. Distilling this film down to its core, it’s hard for me to think of it as anything other than pointless, but I know I may be in the minority here since this film is tracking well with audiences and getting positive reviews from critics. The film comes out on May 2nd, so check it out if you love Seth Rogen. If you don’t, enjoying it will be a long shot.
Final Score: 3/10