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New To DVD - LONG SHOT

long shot review
A presidential wannabe hires the unconventional speechwriter she once babysat.

Review by Ben Peyton

Directed by: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ravi Patel, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Serkis, Alexander SkarsgΓ₯rd

long shot dvd

Seth Rogen’s unorthodox, slovenly yet successful journalist, Fred Flarsky, loses his job but manages to fall on his feet as he reconnects with Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), the babysitter he used to have a crush on. Now flying high as the Secretary of State, with her eyes firmly fixed on becoming America’s first female president, she hires Fred to add some much-needed humour to her speeches in a bid to increase her popularity.

long shot review

Sparks fly between the unlikely pair as they embark on a whirlwind tour of the world to raise awareness for one of Charlotte’s environmental initiatives. However, Fred’s unconventional approach to frontline politics doesn’t sit comfortably with some of Charlotte’s advisors and tensions within the group threaten to derail, not only her friendship with Fred, but also her bid for the presidency.

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What follows is formulaic rom-com fare, but what sets this apart are the consistently funny gags, quality supporting characters and a pair of exceptional turns from the two leads. Though they seem like an unlikely pairing, and are almost complete opposites of each other, there’s no denying the electric chemistry between Rogen and Theron. Their relationship is thoroughly charming and believable, despite some of the contrived circumstances surrounding them.

long shot review
Director Jonathan Levine ticks all the right boxes for a successful romantic comedy as he brings together a strong ensemble supporting cast including Bob Odenkirk, O’ Shea Jackson Jnr, June Diane Raphael, an intentionally charm-free Alexander SkarsgΓ₯rd and an almost unrecognisable Andy Serkis. All have their moments to shine and make the most of what they’re given.

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Long Shot occasionally stretches the boundaries of believability. A hostage crisis involving some Class A drugs seems unlikely, but that isn’t to say it’s not funny. And Long Shot is very funny, with highlights including cinema’s quickest sex scene and a There’s Something About Mary-esque 'hair gel' moment that, ahem, comes out of nowhere. But there’s an awful lot more to it than a smattering of smut. There’s some clever social commentary on how women are perceived in the workplace and insight into the mutually beneficial relationship between politicians and mega-rich businessmen. Even Odenkirk’s President Chambers was once a TV star. All highly relevant in today’s political climate.

long shot review
At just over two hours, Long Shot is slightly too long, but it's full of laughs and it features two endearing performances from Rogen and Theron at its heart. Politics, both here and over the Atlantic, hasn’t given us too much to smile about recently, so this film arrives at just the right time.

Long Shot comes to UK DVD September 9th.


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