The Kings of Summer
Making its way into the crowded coming-of-age genre, The Kings of Summer stands out thanks to a trio of engaging young actors—Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias—and a riotously hilarious supporting cast that includes Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Allison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub. The choice to let the cast, particularly the improv-trained supporting cast, go off-script keeps the film from becoming predictable. That predictability really only comes into play near the end, as events begin to draw the boys apart before bringing them back together. Still, The Kings of Summer is one of the funniest films of the summer, and it’s well worth a watch.
In the year 2022, unemployment’s at 1% and crime is virtually nonexistent in America. How is this possible? For one night—12 hours—each year, crime is legal. While there are exceptions to the rule, helpfully displayed on-screen, pretty much anything goes during this period. That’s the setup for The Purge, a thriller that wants to be more high-minded than it ends up. The film touches on the socioeconomic implications of “the purge”—namely, the rich can afford to barricade themselves, the poor can’t, and the rich decide to go after the poor to “cleanse” society. The film’s 85-minute runtime doesn’t allow for a deep analysis of the issues surrounding “the purge,” though, so the film ends up trading social commentary for standard-fare destruction, with a twist of sorts thrown in regarding conspicuous consumption at the end. The concepts presented are interesting enough, but it’s a shame that the film’s creators didn’t explore anything more in-depth.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite to try and recapture some of the magic from 2005’s Wedding Crashers. One wishes they hadn’t. The Internship is ostensibly about making something of oneself regardless of age or life experiences. It’s also technically a comedy. On both fronts, though, the film utterly fails. The film is neutered by its PG-13 rating, but more direly, it’s ruined by becoming a two-hour infomercial for all things Google. There are a couple of problems here. One, in an effort to make Google seem like The Best Place on Earth to Work, it’s filled with some of the smuggest, most asinine people you’d never want to work with. Two, that running time is unnecessary. Avoid at all costs.