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Long Shot  (DVD)


Stars: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, June Diane Raphael. Ravi Patel, Andy Serkis, Bob Odenkirk, O'Shea Jackson Jr, Alexander Skarsgard, Lisa Kudrow

Director: Jonathan Levine

Here's a (very crude) romcom that wants it all ways. Its better moments, however, are consistently undercut by the thought of how ridiculous this all is, even as the filmmakers seem to try to convince us that what happens here is in some way believable.

Theron plays drop-dead-gorgeous US Secretary of State Charlotte Field who, despite all her achievements is still feeling the weight of the 'glass ceiling' hovering close to her head.

On the other side of the tracks, a heavily-bearded Rogen is Fred Flarsky, a scruffy, aggressively Jewish but talented crusading journalist, about to quit on hearing that his paper has been taken over by the monstrously corrupt tycoon Wembley (an almost unrecognisable Serkis).

The connection between Field and Flarsky is that she once baby-sat him when she was 16 and he three years younger, an event that ended embarrassingly for the boy. They meet again at a society do, where Fred improbably finds himself hired as her speechwriter, as she flies off on a world tour to promote her ecological ideology.

After a narrow escape from a terrorist attack, the mismatched pair find themselves, much like Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden in Bodyguard, attracted to each other, and no time at all are bonking the night away.

We should be sympathising with the characters here, but all the time we're conscious of the foolishness of it all. Another of the film's problems is that Rogen's character is never at any stage likeable, which he should be for this to work well.

Having said all of this, the film is splendidly staged, has its moments, and is not entirely unenjoyable. It just could have been so much better. The versatile Theron is excellent as the ambitious Charlotte, but Rogen's humour is par for the coarse, and he remains an acquired taste.

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Technicolor.
119 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 13 Sep 2019