Long Shot Review: Rogen and Theron come together in a freshly funny must-see
If you were ever waiting for the acting powers of Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen to come together to have excellent comedic chemistry and pull off some solid political commentary, that’s a super specific request, but Long Shot delivers just that and more.
The film follows Fred Flarsky (Rogen), a determined, well-intentioned, and slightly judgmental journalist that runs into the Secretary of State, Charlotte Field (Theron), who he knew as a kid. After he loses his job, Charlotte brings Fred on her campaign trail to help punch up her speeches. Along the way, the two begin to learn about one another and develop a relationship that could affect how people view Charlotte on her campaign. With Charlotte ready to make her announcement to run for presidency, the two must figure out how their relationship can work in the world of politics.
The chemistry between Theron and Rogen makes Long Shot truly a rom-com like no other. Each scene they are in will easily put a smile on anyone’s face and they work really well together in creating both endearingly genuine dialogue and gut-busting, hilarious moments. Rogen brings his usual comedic “A-game” through great line-delivery and physical commitment as well as some truly genuine care with Fred’s desire to expose those that are corrupt and his judging ways towards those who can’t fulfill promises. Theron also gives it her all in every scene she’s in and flexes her comedic muscles in a way that perfectly matches Rogen’s energy. Together the two create two interesting characters that not only bring laughs but help carry the many social messages and themes the film has to offer.
Where Long Shot can be a bit of a headache is with all of the social commentary and ideas that are shoved into the film. There’s some commentary on the struggles that women face in the political world with Charlotte always being belittled by those around her and always being forced to make compromises with big, corrupted conglomerates for her environmental initiative. There’re ideas thrown around about corruption in politics with Fred leaving his job after they are bought out by a crooked business man and constantly looking down on Charlotte when she’s about to sell out. There’s even a discussion between Fred and his friend Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) about Fred’s judgmental ways and how he dismisses people based on political and social beliefs.
I’d be lying if I said that Long Shot isn’t only of the most relevant political commentaries we’ve seen so far this year, but I’d also be lying if I said that it couldn’t possibly be a lot to take in. However, the film never forgets to mix comedy and social talk and it leads to some solid messaging that makes a strong impact. It’s actually impressive how the film punches up it’s political and social messaging through everyone’s comedic performances and the strong writing from Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. Every time there’s a “Fox News” styled news broadcast that comes in from time to time, I couldn’t help but burst out in laughter at how ridiculous it was. Even the discussion, between Fred and Lance towards the end of the film is both incredibly funny and a little eye-opening about people’s perceptions of one another.
Often times, films can run into a problem where important social messages can get lost between the setups and the punchlines. However, this doesn’t happen in Long Shot and the messages and ideas it presents are still sticking with me days after seeing it. So even if it may have a lot to say, too much at times, there still something great to take away from Long Shot and it’s kind of the film that’s needed in the political swirl that we’re in. Instead of just presenting negatives about the political world and just saying that everything’s corrupt, the film presents some positive solutions to break down bias barriers and think towards the greater good rather than momentary relief. These are messages that should not be ignored and what makes Long Shot more than just another rom-com.
Long Shot is really a new kind of rom-com filled with eye-opening and relevant messages about our views on politics as well as one another and boasts freshly funny performances from Rogen and Theron. It’s clearly a front-runner as one of the year’s best comedies, however, it achieves so much more that it should be equally recognized as one of the year’s best films in general.