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KILL IT WITH FIRE! ‘The Long Shot’ is straight hate worthy

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“Hate” is a strong word used far too liberally in our polarized times. By definition, “hate” is to denote strength and passion—a palpable feeling as the result of a burning desire to express anger. The word is wasted nowadays as people us it to describe their feelings about a mediocre plate of French fries or their annoyance for a meme someone posted online that doesn’t align with a particular world view.  My point is, “hate” isn’t a word you should use arbitrarily, lest it lose its value.

MISMATCHED: Seth Rogan’s tired one-dimensional stoner character matches up again with an out-of-his-league smart, driven, beautiful woman (Charlize Theron) in ‘The Long Shot.’ Courtesy photo, Point Grey Pictures

MISMATCHED: Seth Rogan’s tired one-dimensional stoner character matches up again with an out-of-his-league smart, driven, beautiful woman (Charlize Theron) in ‘The Long Shot.’ Courtesy photo, Point Grey Pictures

But make no mistake: I hate “The Long Shot,” the new comedy starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. I can’t even say “hated” in past tense because my frustration with this turgid pile of festering garbage isn’t reserved for the two hours I wasted watching it. Now forced to recall the film for review, I feel intense, passionate anger toward the movie and everyone involved with the production.

Seth Rogen plays Frank, a guy who feels remarkably like every other character in a Seth Rogen movie. Rogan’s the new Adam Sandler—which is to say he’s become the same guy in every movie and makes almost no effort to differentiate the characters he plays. He’s a scruffy, pot-smoking regular dude who is prone to sound like a loud muppet when he gets angry. At this point his shtick has become so played out, it’s impossible to believe any attempts at creating a character.  We’re supposed to believe Frank is a journalist with integrity who has become tired of the perpetual bullshit of the 24-hour news cycle.

His path crosses with Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), the current secretary of state and presidential hopeful. In the world’s most convenient connection, Charlotte used to be Frank’s babysitter. Both wanted to do amazing things with their lives. Charlotte has succeeded by her willingness to play the game, while Frank has failed by sticking to his misguided principles of what constitutes “truth.” They meet again at a party and Charlotte decides to hire Frank to be a speechwriter.

There’s so much to dislike about “The Long Shot.” We’re supposed to be amazed by the creative premise—someone as beautiful and intelligent as Charlotte would fall for a sweaty schlep like Frank. Much of the comedy is to be based on the idea of seeing Charlotte be a “regular person” who enjoys fatty foods, rough sex and occasional recreational drug use.  None of it ever feels genuine, though.

God bless Charlize Theron. She’s extremely charismatic and makes an effort to create a fully realized character. Sure, she fails horribly, thanks to some awful writing, but she makes 10 times the effort of Rogen. He just phones in his performance so incoherently I feel certain his new name should be Boost Mobile.

The plot is so hackneyed; attempts at crafting a message are like the workings of a high-school drama club: Earth is good, compromise is bad and even black people can be Republicans! There were multiple points during the movie I audibly groaned, “Seriously?”—mostly at every attempt to try to shoehorn the political messages into a shabbily assembled shit-storm.

There’s also a fundamental problem with the film’s main conceit: that a Charlize Theron would ever fall for a Seth Rogen. I’m not basing this on appearances, either, but the grating pot-smoking persona that seems far less funny every year Seth Rogen ages. It was funny when he was playing a teenager and just amusing in his 20s. Watching a middle-aged drug-obsessed man-child get the girl because of his unflinching principles feels about as likely as Mitch McConnell winning “Sexiest Man Alive.”

I hate “The Long Shot.” I hate it even exists. I hate there are smart people who came together to make something so dumb. I hate the one-dimensional supporting characters. I hate Seth Rogen has yet to turn a corner and evolve into something more nuanced. It’s like watching Tommy Chong on “That 70’s Show” or modern-day Andrew Dice Clay and realizing they’re only capable of one thing—and they just keep beating the dead horse until it’s nothing but a pulpy mass of tissue, bone and blood. “The Long Shot” is a virus and every print of it should be killed with fire.

The Long Shot
Rated R
Directed by Jonathan Levine
Starring Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael

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  1. Brandon

    May 15, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Hey! Go fuck yourself, and all your shitty movie reviews :). Your absolute hate fest on all these movies sickens me!. If you can write a movie that’s absolutely perfect, please send me the script, and I’ll send you a review of your “festering pile of garbage” :).

  2. Living the Vida local in Alabama

    May 15, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Lol you must love Bollywood, the Marx Brothers and Pretty Woman. I’ve seen this movie. Sitting here in a parking in sunny Alabama, the day after watching our Senate pass the most restrictive anti abortion bill on order to maybe take on Roe v Wade & knowing that people who want to have kids can’t afford to, I’m glad to see a romantic comedy where the successful president candidate chose their spouse and the environment.

    Lol, we get real politics a lot here. I’m good with The Long Shot.


  3. Guy Bordieu

    May 15, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    This review is cringe…

  4. Paul Anderson

    May 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    So I guess you didn’t like it then…?

  5. otp

    May 16, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    You really just wanted to shit on Seth Rogen for an entire review didn’t you? Going so far as to jump on Tommy Chong’s back! Shit man, do you hate happy potheads, or want to imagine that Charlize has never had a sweaty day and come out of a cloud of sweet skunk smoke? Honey, it takes hours to get that hair formed and shining and the back in that backless dress just the right kind of dewey. Hours of pain. It takes a couple minutes with a joint to make you smile again.
    Please stop reviewing movies.

  6. Ric Bertolotti

    May 16, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Ok, whatever your name is – it wasn’t Casablanca. But your over the top ranting and raving isn’t deserved. It’s a cute little romcom that is entertaining. Contrary to what they told you at film critic school, not every show needs to be Oscar worthy.

    I’m a Theronaphile. While the part didn’t require Vanessa Redgrave acting skills, she did a very good job. If she invited me to the premiere, I would have been there. I even love her as work on TV ads. So yep, if she played the dog in Sylvia, I’d go to see her.

    And Rogen did not just do his same old Schlick, contrary to your lopsided view. He did look amazed when Field actually fell for him. And there’s nothing wrong with being a character that we recognize. Are you suggesting Rogen play Hamlet? SMH

    Wish you posted your name so I could press the delete key on your future reviews.

  7. Emily

    June 1, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Oh my Lord, saw this last night and agree 100%. I forced myself to stay for the entire movie and it was an effort. Films don’t have to be realistic and I can understand Seth douche Rogan loving it – he gets to kiss Charlize, but how did this script ever attract someone like Charlize Theron? Seth Rogan was fun and funny 15 years ago when I was 25 years old, but now I’m 40 and Seth is still doing his same boring undergraduate shit regailing stories of getting a semi-boner at the age of 12. And wow, he still takes drugs: so edgy and cool and funny. Charlize is beautiful, and elegant, and a bona-fide movie star, but this film was a piece of garbage. As a comedy set in a political world it felt like something written by a 17 year old high school student wanting to be profound.

  8. Sam W

    June 3, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Took that a bit too far didn’t we!?
    You’re ruining HATE for everyone and definitely part of the problem.

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