It sounds like a film that should have gone straight to DVD – or rather, in this day-and-age, Netflix.
Seth Rogen plays an unemployed journalist who tries to court his ex-babysitter Charlotte Field (played by Charlize Theron) who now happens to be the Secretary of State. No, really. Like I said – it sounds mad. But, in reality, Long Shot proves to be timely, sweet and actually very funny.
Most of Long Shot’s success comes down to the casting. Rogen is generally quite reliable, and has a tendency to star in films that are often better than they have any right to be. But its Theron who’s the real revelation in Long Shot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so funny before, and she does a really good job of playing a very straight-edged character and injecting her with a lot of personality and humour. One sequence in the final act of the film proved the funniest – but I’ll let you discover that for yourself. Rogen and Theron play off each other well, and have chemistry to spare. The rest of the main cast are also great, with Grace and Frankie’s June Diane Raphael being a particular highlight.
The story, though outrageous, is also very relevant to the modern, Trump-era we live in. It’s not a film that would have worked a decade ago; taking self-aware shots at how women are treated in politics, and the role of the media in influencing social commentary. Bob Odenkirk of Breaking Bad fame does his best job at playing a suspiciously Donald Trump-y president as well, and Andy Serkis is great under prosthetics as a Fox-style media mogul.
Overall, the film works because it’s just plain funny. I could have done without the ham-fisted romance and at least 10 minutes could’ve been dropped from the runtime, but the laughs are consistent and there are some legitimately shocking moments as well. This is a Seth Rogen film after all.
If you can suspend some disbelief and get past the fact it’s yet another film in which Rogen somehow ends up with his female lead, then it’s worth the price of admission.
Reviewed by Stewart Sowman-Lund