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Long Shot: Attempts

You open your fridge and look at the weirdly dissonant ingredients and decide to give it a go. But even though these kinds of attempts are how great discoveries are made, that is also how you get rice with jam and jalapenos. Long Shot made several attempts, but the outcome was not so great.

Long Shot follows recently unemployed investigative journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogan) who runs into his childhood babysitter and crush Charlotte (Charlize Theron) who is now a Secretary of State aspiring to become the first female president of The United States. After recognising him and reading some of his articles, Charlotte hires Fred to help make her speeches funnier, and it is not long before a romance develops between them. But with the dismay of her campaign manager Maggie (June Diane Raphael) and the probable dismay of the public, will Charlotte risk all she has worked her for her newly found romance with Fred?

The mixture between comedy, politics, and romance seems to be a good idea, and the core concept of this feature is very promising, but the execution, not so much.

The film starts with a bang as Fred is infiltrating a Nazi gang which raises the crazy bar for the rest of the film, but the rest does not deliver.

There is a lot of comedy, but other than a “let’s get high” scene, most of the comedy mainly comes from witty jokes that only sometimes work. Also, the instances where you will laugh out loud are too few considering the material this feature is dealing with; from Donald Trump to male mistresses. Seth Rogan does bring his crass comedy to the film’s lines, but in this feature, it is just not enough to make you laugh enough to want to see this movie again.

It was cool that there were characters based on real people like Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau, but the filmmakers could have done much more with that. It was, however, very clear with the emphasis on the double standards, sexism, and adversities that women candidates face, which is a major plus. Nevertheless, the female candidate character felt somewhat incomplete; yes, she cares about the environment and wants to become president for every aspiring little girl, but who is she?

The audience also does not get why she is with Fred, which a question that keeps getting asked over and over in the film without a decent answer. She likes him, we understand that, but why? What does she like about him? It is not enough for audiences that they’re both different from traditional rom-com roles, so their romance will just be accepted.

For the acting, Seth Rogan’s performance was a lot like what we have seen from him before, but it lacked any standout moments and was just more laid back instead. Charlize Theron fit the politician role perfectly and did a great job when it came to the politics as well as the comedy, but it was the emotion and romance where her performance fell off track. June Diane Raphael really shines as she took a supporting character that could have been low key and made her pop, which is both due to the quality of her talent as well as that of her lines.

Long Shot tried to be a political satire, a romantic comedy, and more but, the attempts only brought some laughs and a very muddled up, confusing message.

Like This? Try

Neighbors (2014), The Campaign (2012), The Interview (2014), The Dictator (2012). 

360 Tip

Seth Rogen and O'Shea Jackson, Jr. play college roommates. In real life, Rogen is nine years older than Jackson.

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