06th May2019

‘Long Shot’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, June Diane Raphael, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ravi Patel, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Serkis, Randall Park, Tristan D. Lalla, Alexander Skarsgard | Written by Dan Sterling, Liz Hannah | Directed by Jonathan Levine


Long Shot is directed by Jonathan Levine and re-teams him with star Seth Rogen in what is their third outing together after their collaborations on 50/50 and The Night Before. Long Shot also offers both Levine and Rogen a chance to get out of a small rut of sorts with their respective careers coming off a rather poor box office return. Specifically, Levine’s last directorial effort Snatched bombing terribly and Rogen starring in bit parts on streaming platforms such as Arizona and Father Figure. Thankfully, Long Shot is genuinely one of the best romantic comedies I’ve had the pleasure to have seen in the last decade. Incredibly witty and heartfelt with two excellent leading performances from Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron.

The latter undeniably cementing herself as the best actress working today. The versatility and range Theron has is nothing short of magnanimous, with her performance here as Secretary of State Charlotte Field nothing short of untouchable. The range from comedy to dramatic tendencies is outstanding to see on screen. The actress is at the height of her star power and the resulting talent she has is engulfing. She can singlehandedly change the emotional direction and thematic arc of the film with a blink of her eye. The layers and weight of each animate romantic notion are intoxicating with just how simple and raw Theron interacts, and reacts with her co-star. It’s organic and never overabundant in term of heavy-handedness. Therefore, the romantic element, of which will be a push for certain audiences concerning these two tars, becomes evidently more believable and unrestricted in regards to societal pressures. An element that this film openly covers and examines in both a poignant and witty regard.

That’s where Seth Rogen comes into play as journalist/scriptwriter Fred Flansky. If Theron is the heartfelt lead then Rogen is undoubtedly the comedic relief, and it’s in no way a contempt comment to attack his ability to act. Just watch Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs for your evidence on that matter. Rogen, when he wants or is allowed throughout his filmography, can steal the show with his performances. Long Shot sadly isn’t one of those films – purely outshone by the magnificence of Theron – however, he steals every scene he’s incorporated in. Not only the comedic sensibilities that he shines in but actually the sincere and piquant moments of romanticism. He’s adorable in a sense, that once again, you can truly believe his character through the honest reflection of the somewhat bizarre situation he’s in. Courtesy of the screenplay from Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah that excels this piece into an elegantly ironically farcical rom-com that is arguably better and more open than anything that has come before it in its respective genre.

Long Shot is, however, a little too long (excuse the pun), in fact, it’s rather bloated. The running time of just over two hours and five minutes is slightly obtuse concerning the film and its plot. It doesn’t need to be the length it is and if anything the actual incentive of Fred and Charlotte is stretched out with a far too much excessive introductory material, specifically the unnecessary opening prologue that never comes full circle and only adds more of a random chance of comedy that’s more miss than hit. I’d also argue theirs too much political sub-plot here. It isn’t bad by any means. It’s actually the films strongest suite concerning the comedy but if its not heavy-handed i don’t know what is. It’s a little too literal in this world at the moment and excessive for its own good even if the intention is to highlight the utter ridiculous in this world, however, the joke just doesn’t hold, consequently ageing far quicker and becomes severely stale before the film hits its second act.

Long Shot is in cinemas now.


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