Film Review: Long Shot

Director Jonathan Levine’s Long Shot is a comedy-drama that never fully convinces. Despite a good start, the film fails to satisfy completely.

A chance encounter reunites Fred, a recently unemployed journalist, and Charlotte, Secretary of State and in the running to be the next President. Charlotte hires Fred as a speechwriter, while he still has feelings for his former babysitter…

Directed by Jonathan Levine (who previously worked with Seth Rogen on The Night Before and 50/50), Long Shot is written by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah. The premise offers enough to keep viewers engaged. An odd couple pairing with a political backdrop, the film has promise. Unfortunately the direction which the film takes is a little disappointing.

Long Shot works best when it is buoyant and when it is satirical. When the film veers into romcom territory the wheels come off a little. The romance is never compelling when it plays out, although the chemistry between the two leads before this is good. The more serious tone does not sit as well as the first half of the film. Long Shot makes a few well targeted jabs, yet does not take aim at some obvious targets. The result is a little lukewarm; the film prefers to straddle the middle ground, politically speaking.

The emotional aspect of the final quarter of the film does not give the pay off Levine may have hoped. There is not really a sense that Fred is deserving of the risk Charlotte takes to be with him. He is a rather one-dimensional character; the type we have seen Rogen play before. The climax of the film is rather schmaltzy, a sharp departure from the film’s amusing opening. 

Charlize Theron is wonderful in the film. She is great in the film’s comedic moments, and does well to generate chemistry with Rogen. O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Bob Odenkirk stand out among the supporting actors. The film’s soundtrack is most appealing.

Long Shot offers some great moments of levity, but the romance is fails to capture the imagination.

Long Shot is out on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD from 9th September 2019.


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