Long Shot (2019)

Long Shot (2019 poster).pngDirector: Jonathan Levine
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Starring: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgård, Ravi Patel, Randall Park, Tristan D. Lalla

Outspoken journalist Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is hired to be a speech-writer for his first crush who has become Secretary of State, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron). As the two reconnect, spark fly between the pair, leading to a romance.

Jonathan Levine's latest directorial feature is a romantic comedy, and goes in exactly the direction one would expect from the synopsis. There may be little surprises, especially with Seth Rogen leading the feature, but it remains an effective tale ready to get viewers invested. Also helping matters is the sharp witted script, by Liz Hannah and Dan Sterling, which is regularly hilarious, and brings a political angle which is successfully handled.

Our lead, Fred Flarsky, is establish very well from early on. We initially see him risking his life infiltrating a Neo-Nazi group for a piece he's writing, but then he's willing to throw it and his job away to spite an agenda-pushing media mogul who buys out his place of work. It's very much what one would expect from a Seth Rogen leading role, and he plays the role as well as he has done the numerous times prior, but that's not all there is to the character. The passion Flarsky pours into his work, wanting to make a change in the world for the better, is very well delivered.

Acting opposite is Charlize Theron, whose character of Charlotte Field has her aspirations set on becoming President of the United States. To be in with a shot, she has to strive to get the American public to support her, which has her working on a project to better the environment, appear to have more of a sense of humour, and use less of her elbow in her wave. It's telling that she has to work all the more harder to maintain her image and seem like a suitable candidate for President, while the current commander in chief was best known for playing President on a TV series (played by a terrific Bob Odenkirk). At the core of her run, Charlotte has to ask herself what she's willing to sacrifice to reach her goal, and Theron does a terrific job showcasing her characters struggle. She's also extremely talented in the more comedic aspects, being hilarious in the smallest of moments.

But a romance film is only as good as its core relationship, so thank goodness it's such an easy job to root for these two to make it through to the end. The leads share tremendous chemistry, making one believe in their shared history and burgeoning attraction to one another. A Roxette tune is also utilised to a heartfelt degree, bringing to screen a moment which will make ones heart swell.

In terms of the supporting cast, O'Shea Jackson Jr is a scene-stealing hoot for the films first half. A near-unrecognisable Andy Serkis appears in terrific make-up, doing a fantastic job in playing a slimy media mogul, even if he portrays a plot device more than an actual character. Special mention is deserved for June Diane Raphael and Ravi Patel, who generate laughs with such ease.

Long Shot is a charming romantic comedy which excels in both areas, while delivering a sharp political edge. Come for the talented performers doing fantastic work, stay for the humorous exchange about Jennifer Aniston.