Monday, May 13, 2019

Review: "Long Shot" is a perfect mix of raunchy and romantic

Long Shot Review
We all have that one that got away. That person who you fell hard for, the one that could have possibly changed the entire trajectory of your life had you just asked them out. Our lives are just a series of moments and how we react to those moments defines who we are. We rarely get second chances in anything, so we usually have to get it right the first time, and we sometimes don't even know what that first time is, and how to even get it right.

Seth Rogen plays Fred Flarsky, a journalist who is down on his luck after being released from his employer after a shady article. By chance, he meets an old flame while out with his new employer. That old flame is Charlotte Field, played by Charlize Theron. Field just so happens to be the Secretary of State. When they were young, Field babysat Flarsky, and Flarsky developed a huge crush for his babysitter. So much so that he worked up the courage to kiss her. This led to an embarrassing set-back that changed his life forever and he never got a chance to see Field afterward, until then. Field is Secretary of State for President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk, funny as always) who has decided to go make a career in Hollywood instead of run for a second term, which leaves the door open for the 2020 election, and Field is planning on running. She hires Flarsky to write her speeches after reading some of his columns, which may spark a romance.

Of course, this starring Rogen, Theron, Odenkirk and even O'Shea Jackson Jr, this isn't the ordinary romantic comedy. Sure, it may be structured like the typical romantic comedy. But allow me to assure you that its anything but. This is the raunchiest comedy to come out in awhile. As Flarsky takes the job to write the speeches, him and Field reconnect. They get to know each other, trying to pick up where they left off. They eventually discuss more personal stuff and take their relationship to the next level. The sex scenes feature some of the dirtiest humor I've seen in awhile, but it was kind of welcoming. I thought the R-rated raunchy comedy had died, apparently it was only on vacation. With Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in the charge (and she's actually slyly funny when given the chance) this becomes better than average.

The work done by Rogen and Theron is really what keeps the thing going. Sure, they are surrounded by a great supporting cast. There are plenty of great actors who pop up here and there, but the focus is on Rogen and Theron, and they keep you laughing. As far as Rogen's persona is concerned, well you are either in or your out at this point. Most comedy guys stick to a routine, for better or for worse. Rogen isn't reinventing himself here, so if you don't like his style, he isn't going to redeem himself. I personally find him funny, so it didn't bother me. Charlize Theron continues to prove that she can literally do anything she wants, all the power to her.

Bonus points are rewarded to June Diane Raphael and Ravi Patel who play Field's staffers. They appear as typical antagonists towards Flarsky, the type of characters we usually see populating this kind of comedy. But their characters get a couple of twists, and they are flat out funny. They take characters who are rather one-dimensional and breath life into them and the results are spectacular.

For a sub-genre that has played it safe and has repeat itself many times over the years, "Long Shot" feels like fresh air. A glass of cold water after spending a month on a desert plain. Its a goofball time, and it turns on the sleaze to high volume in some places. But if that comedy works for you, this is something to catch ASAP.

FINAL GRADE :B+

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