Reviewed by: David Cook
The personal lives of politicians
Are we living in a MORAL STONE AGE? Answer
What does it mean to be LASCIVIOUS? Answer
How can I know what is RIGHT or WRONG? Answer
How can I DISCERN whether a particular activity is wrong? Answer
What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Answer
What is GOODNESS? Answer
What is RIGHTEOUSNESS? Answer
What is HOLINESS? Answer
|Featuring:||Seth Rogen … Fred Flarsky
Charlize Theron … Charlotte Field
June Diane Raphael … Maggie Millikin
O'Shea Jackson Jr. … Lance
Ravi Patel … Tom
Bob Odenkirk … President Chambers
Andy Serkis … Parker Wembley
Randall Park … Boss
Tristan D. Lalla … Agent M
Alexander Skarsgård … Prime Minister James Steward
Aladeen Tawfeek … Bharath
Nathan Morris … Nathan Morris
Wanya Morris … Wanya Morris
Shawn Stockman … Shawn Stockman
Isla Dowling … Katarina Prudence Wembley
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|Producer:||Denver and Delilah Productions
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Summit Entertainment, a division of Lionsgate Films
Filthy, vulgar and profane
The romantic-comedy was once a premiere genre in the movie industry. Along with Action/Adventure, Horror, and Sci-Fi, it satisfied its specific audience. And though most romantic-comedies rarely received critical acclaim, there are some exceptions such as: “When Harry Met Sally” and “Moonstruck.” Regardless, high quality romantic-comedies often found commercial success and a fanbase with long-lasting appreciation. However, over the last 20 years, the genre has dwindled down to nearly non-existent. As a result, we receive movies such as this week’s new release “Long Shot.”
Its clever premise had me hoping for the best. The female Secretary of State, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) is launching her bid to run for the President of the United States of America. In an effort to raise her popularity amongst voters, she hires her childhood neighbor-turned-journalist, Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) to write for her on the campaign trail. As they spend time together, romantic feelings are ignited, but the stress of politics makes things more complicated than they expect. Certainly, this is a recipe for a quality attempt at the romantic-comedy, but, unfortunately, this raunchy film plays out as neither romantic nor comedic.
“Long Shot” seems, at times, to be interested in being a political satire tackling serious subjects like conservation, equal rights, and the collapse of journalism. At other times, it flippantly mocks racism, Middle East conflicts, drug use, and even terrorism. By preaching female equality with one breath and callously joking about terrorist negotiations with the next, the movie contradicts itself and nullifies both its attempts at profundity and humor. As a result, nothing feels genuine. When Fred stands up for his principles, it feels shallow and contrived. When Charlotte begins to fall in love with Fred, it seems insincere and convenient for the script. Finally, the film’s cliché climax felt so absurd that a race to catch the girl at the airport would have seemed more plausible.
Charlize Theron (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Tully”) is an Academy Award winning actress who commands the screen in every performance, and this is no exception. The problem with “Long Shot” is the writing is so bad, I began to pity that such a talented actress would have to play this role… even though she is also a producer of the film.
“Long Shot” has positive messaging at its core. Fred Flarsky is a man of conviction. He stands up for his principles, even though it costs him his job and could damage his relationship with the woman he loves. This is consistent with James 1:2-4, “…the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” The problem is Fred’s conviction is negated by his behavior. Unable to act in a respectable fashion, he consistently uses crude language, acts sexually promiscuous, and is a rampant drug user. This contradiction undermines his principles and suggests they are artificial. The highlight of the film is Fred’s best friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson). Lance is always available for Fred. He is there during his times of need, he is consistently encouraging Fred, and he respects Fred’s opinions despite disagreeing with them (Proverbs 17:17).
Fred, Lance, and the other characters earn “Long Shot” an R-rating with the countless use of the f-word, sh*t, and using the Lord’s name in vain. Along with the gratuitous profanity, there are two uncomfortable sex scenes (no nudity), and a drawn-out scene about masturbation. This scene is not only used as an attempt at humor but also as a profound twist within the plot… once again blurring the principles established within the flimsy story.
A clever, relevant concept has been wasted in “Long Shot.” The story could have been sweet, with some poignant moments, but the writing is so lazy and predictable that its thinly shrouded air of self-righteousness will make anyone shudder. If you liked the filthiness of “Superbad” 12 years ago, but thought it was too clever and original, “Long Shot” may be for you. Otherwise, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.