HOLLYWOOD—Seth Rogen is a guy that many would deem a comedy genius. He has delivered some hilarious comedies in recent years. I mean I was baffled, but in the best possible way with the raunchy 2007 hit “Superbad.” He followed that success with the iconic “Neighbors” and the flick that every kid wanted to see, but were banned from seeing by their parents in “Sausage Party.”
Rogen’s latest outing is not as crude as other comedies he starred in, but “Long Shot” does indeed deliver the laughs. I like to consider it a political satire that is more flared with comedy than satirical jokes. It weaves politics in the narrative in a way that is funny, without pushing the envelope too far. Rogen portrays Fred Flarksy, a NYC journalist who has a knack for showcasing his unique tone in his writing.
Upon learning that his job might be in jeopardy from a new owner who doesn’t share the same ethics and morals as himself, Fred decides to do the unthinkable by quitting. In doing so, he places himself in quite the conundrum: he needs to find a job. Those events led to Fred coming face-to-face with his former babysitter, now presidential candidate Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron) at an event.
This is a welcome change for the Oscar-winner, as we haven’t seen Theron in many comedic roles. The only ones that I can think of were “Tully” and “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” Both suitable comedies, but Theron really gets to showcase her comedic chops here and they absolutely shine. The comedy works here because the chemistry between Theron and Rogen is so mesmerizing on the big screen. Their coupling really should not work, but it works like a charm thanks a witty, clever and enthralling script. These characters are not one note, they don’t’ come across as caricatures or stereotypes that we’ve seen time and time again on the big screen. Originality matters and the more time that Fred and Charlotte spend together the more similarities they see in one another. Rogen easily depicts that guy who thinks he is way over his head to get the girl, whereas Theron emits a goofball to a character who is headstrong, but slowly let’s her guard down over time.
There is an awkwardness to these characters that makes the pairing fun to watch on the big screen. You identify with the characters and want to see more of where things are headed. I have to point out the scene-stealer of movie in actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. Who knew this guy was comedy gold. What he does with the character Lance in this movie is sensational. Pure hilarity on top of more hilarity; I was living every time this character showed up on the screen.
There are some iconic laughs that I will not spoil for the viewer, because I want you to indulge in the same laughter that I experienced in the multiplex. Yes, this is a comedy about politics, but it is the classic tale of boy meets girl, boy loses girl and the road for boy and girl to reunite, with some odd, strange and at times disturbing laughs along the way. I didn’t expect much from “Long Shot,” but after leaving the theater I can absolutely say I was pleased by what this comedy offered.