Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Release Date: July 30, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
From the celebrated team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, creators of outrageous comedy hits including This Is The End and Neighbors, comes Long Shot. Seth Rogen stars as Fred Flarsky, a hard-partying journalist who’s got it bad for Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), his first crush turned presidential candidate. After Charlotte hires Fred as a speechwriter, he is a fish out of water on her elite team. But sparks fly as he turns her on to a wild new world of raging parties, secret rendezvous, and hilarious rule-breaking.
‘Long Shot’ tells the story of partying, down on his luck journalist Fred Flarsky (Rogen) who during an innocent night out with his best friend (Jackson Jr.) comes across his first love and childhood babysitter Charlotte Field (Theron) who’s now working as secretary of state at the white house and preparing her own campaign to run as president. Upon discovering Fred’s talent for writing Charlotte hires him on as her speechwriter and as Fred introduces her to a world of fun that she forgot and the two start spending more time together they soon find themselves falling for each other. But as the campaign revs up and things become more serious, Charlotte and Fred will both have to take a deep look within and decide if this is truly everything they wanted and whether they can make the sacrifices necessary for it to work.
Directed by Jonathan Levine (The Night Before, 50/50) from a screenplay by Dan Sterling (The Interview) and Liz Hannah (The Post) which was based upon a story by Sterling, Levine does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Long Shot’ perfectly balancing the heart and humor. The film also owes a huge share of the credit to the talented and well selected individuals that comprise the cast including Seth Rogen (This Is The End), Charlize Theron (Atomic Blonde), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Godzilla: King Of The Monsters), Andy Serkis (Black Panther), June Diane Raphael (Blockers), Ravi Patel (TV’s American Housewife), Bob Odenkirk (TV’s Better Call Saul) and Alexander Skarsgård (Hold The Dark) along with more, with nearly all offering solid and fitting performances in each of their respective roles, and the organic and magnificent pairings of both Rogen and Theron, as well as that of Rogen and Jackson Jr. both also do wonders for the film.
‘Long Shot’ is a refreshingly welcome surprise of a film that’s as sweet and heartwarming as it is hilariously offensive and somehow manages to make the combination work beautifully, coming together into a surprisingly magnificent film and a perfect romantic comedy for the modern age. It certainly never fails to deliver consistent laughs throughout, while at the same time unafraid to tackle some important subjects and take viewers to some interesting places along the way. At the same time also making the blooming romantic relationship between our stars never feel forced or unbelievable, with Rogen and Theron actually making for a delightfully perfect leading pair with some notable chemistry believe it or not. It’s certainly a wildly enjoyable and frequently hilarious comedy that only exceeds expectations and at the same time evolves into so much more. An awakening of sorts for two individuals that knew each other in what seems like a different lifetime and their newfound and unexpected relationship which in its own way forces each to explore themselves and the changes and sacrifices that have chipped away at their beliefs and goals over the years. I would definitely strongly encourage dedicated fans of Seth Rogen and/or Charlize Theron as well as anyone out there who appreciates a great comedy with plenty of heart to try and give ‘Long Shot’ a chance whenever possible. Even if you may be initially hesitant about it, you’ll likely find yourself pleasantly surprised at just how quickly this movie manages to win you over.
Overall, ‘Long Shot’ is a massively enjoyable and surprisingly touching romantic comedy for the modern age that serves up a consistent array of laughs and raunchy fun, while managing to never sacrifice the heart and charm it radiates, courtesy in large part to the perfect pairing of stars Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. I can’t possibly recommend ‘Long Shot’ highly enough, it’s a fantastic film with a great deal to offer that is definitely well worth taking the time to check out, and also likely to be a great candidate for repeat viewings. At the absolute least it should have no trouble proving well worth your time and the price of a rental for anyone already even the slightest bit interested; odds are that you’ll be truly thrilled you decided to give it a shot.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Long Shot’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and provides a sharp, clean and detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be uncovered along the way. It holds up impressively even during the various darkly lit, heavily populated and fast moving sequences and never allows anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Lionsgate that should thoroughly please both the film’s fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and fairly active audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music, crowd chatter and a great deal more throughout the various speakers whenever fitting, and also offering a few moments that get quite aggressive, while also always making certain that any dialogue or other audio activity that might be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a great Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that more than delivers in every way required of it and makes for a splendid compliment to the onscreen fun.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Long Shot’ includes an ample collection of bonus content, primarily in the way of various Behind the Scenes Featurettes and fun videos that explore bringing the film to life and featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. They include: ‘All’s Fair in Love and Politics: Making Long Shot’ (running approximately 30 minutes in length), ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven: Seth and Charlize Uncensored’ (running approximately 7 minutes), ‘Secret Weapons’ (approximately 15 minutes), ‘Epic Flarsky Falls’ (6 minutes), ‘Prime Minister Steward O-Rama’ (5 minutes), ‘Hanging With Boyz II Men’ (6 minutes), ‘Just Kinda Crushing It!’ (4 minutes), ‘The First Mister: A Portrait’ (7 minutes), ‘An Imperfect Union’ (7 minutes), ‘Love and Politics’ (5 minutes) and ‘Friends Like These’ (4 minutes).