DVD Review: Long Shot

STUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: Jonathan Levine | CAST: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, Jillian Bell, June Diane Raphael, Bob Odenkirk, O’Shea Jackson, Ravi Patel, Andy Serkis
RELEASE DATE: July 30, 2019 | PRICE: DVD $14.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $19.96
BONUSES: featurettes, interviews, more
SPECS: R | 125 min. | Comedy romance | 2.39:1 widescreen | Dolby TrueHD 7.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

By this time, Seth Rogen (The Disaster Artist) has become a brand name in movies playing the weed-smoking, schlubby and bearded underdog who wins over women seemingly too good for him. Consider past roles in Neighbors and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and now Long Shot, and further evidence is not necessary. Love his shtick or not, Rogan has been a romantic screen mainstay for over a decade.

In Long Shot, he plays Fred Flarsky, a liberal journalist offed from his job when his rebel-rousing publication is bought by a bigger company, curtailing its investigative reporting ways. Through a series of odd coincidences, Flarsky finds himself in the presence of Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron, Tully), his one-time babysitter who is now the Secretary of State. With a desire to run for President, Field hires Flarsky to be her speechwriter, and, eventually, an oddball relationship ensues.

The film is filled with some pretty funny bits that rely on the chemistry of the two leads, accented by the perceived differences in their looks by themselves and the public alike. Long Shot also gets points for being up-to-date with jokes about the current administration, riffs on the dangers of social media and “woke” awareness of relationships among the sexes.  True to the form established by Rogen’s mentor, Judd Apatow (This is 40), the film mixes sweetness and raunchiness in equal measures. Adding humorous bits are Bob Odenkirk (TV’s Better Call Saul) as a clueless George W. Bush-like POTUS, Alexander Skarsgard (The Hummingbird Project) as a Trudeau-like Canadian diplomat, and June Diane Raphael (Blockers) and Ravi Patel (Get a Job) as Theron’s uptight aides.

Despite solid reviews, Long Shot’s box-office numbers disappointed, stalling at the $45 million mark. Perhaps timing was wrong or maybe people have grown a bit weary of Rogen’s hipster-friendly high-as-a-kite antics. The fact that this is one of his better outings will bring good word-of-mouth reception to his fans, whether they are wasted or not, and, with Theron in the mix, maybe even pick up some new followers.

Buy or Rent Long Shot

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.