movie: long shot (2019)

To put it simply, this is a review of Long Shot (2019), another Seth Rogen movie that I kinda forgot the name of at first. Seth Rogen to me seems like a 30-something all-American white guy with a beer belly who cracks jokes here and there. Regardless of how funny or offensive the humor is, he is still making the same goddamn jokes, especially because he is a (self-proclaimed) comedian. Well, I guess I was wrong. He was actually from Canada.

Over the years, ever since I could fathom English-speaking movies, I have watched some of Seth Rogen “comedy” movies: Funny People, The Green Hornet, This is the End (or This is the End of Comedy because according to my 15-year-old self, it was just very terribly written), you name it. I believe most people think his movies are funny, but they are nothing revolutionary to me. I could not even bring myself to watch Neighbor, which has Zac Efron in it, as you can pretty much get the entire movie plot from watching the trailer. Full of cliches and pop-culture jargons, Long Shot is no different. The first time I even knew about Long Shot was from this video, titled “Watch Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen Fall for Each Other in ‘Long Shot’ — or in other words, watch them get horny and kiss each other during a bombing attack.

Fred Flarsky (right) and Charlotte Field (left)

(spoiler alert, I guess)

The movie starts off with a journalist from NYC, Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), infiltrating a Nazi Sympathizers party. Despite being injured from his own idiocy, Fred is proud to have gathered materials for The Brooklyn Advocate, a newspaper company which he works for, proving that he is indeed a dedicated journalist. However, Fred briskly decides to quit after knowing that a right-wing millionaire, Parker Wembley, has bought The Brooklyn Advocate. Unemployed and distraught, Fred joins his tech-executive best friend, Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), to a fancy party. There, Fred is reunited with his ex-babysitter, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who is currently working as the State Secretary for a narcissistic president. Charlotte sees an opportunity to become the President of United States herself, with the endorsement from the current president, who actually wants to be a TV star. On the road of promoting herself to become the president, Charlotte coincidentally crosses path with Fred, whom she used to babysit in the past. After reading some of Fred’s previous writing, Charlotte then decides to offer Fred to be her speech-writer, of which Fred gladly accepts. From then on, an “unusual” love story begins, between the nation’s presidential candidate and her speech-writer.

This is Lance, played by Ice Cube’s son (O’Shea Jackson Jr.)

For me personally, the funniest part was when Charlize Theron is in a scene with Lil Yachty; it is a cross-over that I would never expect in a million years. Unfortunately, I cannot find a picture with both of them in one scene, no matter how deep I plunge myself into hundreds of Google pages. That is disappointing. Another amusing part is when Fred finds out that his friend, Lance, is a GOP supporter (Republican) and a devoted Christian. Lance really rhymes GOP and GOD in one sentence. Aside from those scenes, this movie is pretty generic when it comes to comedy; full of stereotypes, profanities, and masturbation jokes. What a coincidence, the Prime Minister of Canada in this movie is charming and full of quirks, similar to the real one. There are some comical words, such as:

  • “You do not need luck, destiny is on you” (Okay, this is not that funny)
  • “Starring in movies does not make her a movie star”
  • “Dalai Lama? Fuck him, what songs have he produced”

What baffles me is the fact that Lance, a high-profile corporate worker, does not offer a decent job to an unemployed Fred. The only thing Lance does is saying fake-deep sentences like, “You don’t need luck, destiny is on you”. Another thing that bugs me is the fact that this movie only uses religion to differentiate Republican Lance from liberal-bro Fred. I mean, conservatism and liberalism surely go beyond Christianity. Long Shot is indeed “A Timid Political Rom-Com with the Politics Removed”, as described by Richard Brody on his review.

Fred (right) and Charlotte (left)

To be honest, Charlotte’s main reason to be the President of United States is comically cliche. Unbelievably out of touch with America’s current political climate, her purpose is to save the environment. She cares so much about trees, I thought she was running for a beauty pageant (I do think beauty pageants are mostly shallow and kind of racist). This movie has the potential to discuss the current dehumanizing immigration issues, daunting health care, crippling gun violence, or any other injustices that are actually happening. But I guess the writers refused to go down that road. All they wanted was a lighthearted, politically-infused romantic comedy.

Not to mention the unrealistic phone call between a high Charlotte and a nation leader over an international hostage crisis. Was I supposed to laugh at that scene? I guess so. Nonetheless, it was pretty fun watching Charlotte to be so out of her uptight character.

Both are high from ecstasy.

This might be one of the whitest movie I have ever seen in my life, just like any other Seth Rogen’s notorious movies. You can probably find approximately five people of color as the main casts (great), including Boys II Men entertaining the fancy party that I mentioned in the beginning. Watching this really did motivate me to become a screen-writer for a second, if only opportunities were as easy breezy as those offered to comedians like Seth Rogen or Raditya Dika, with his gazillions of movies focusing on young love.. over and over again. I suppose the similarity between these two comedians is the desire to be deemed as relatable. According to this interview, Seth himself said, “Nothing’s funny, really, if the audience doesn’t connect with the characters and relate to them and understand them and what they’re doing and their choices and see themselves in them in some way” (this does sound pretty superfluous). Fair enough, I really do want to relate with millionaires like Rogen and Raditya!

All jokes aside, this movie is not written by Seth himself, but by actual screen-writers named Liz Hannah and Dan Sterling.

(Pictures source: Google)

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