Here is a challenge: take a shot every time you see the word “submit” below:
America has had an… interesting history, one that’s reached the point of its people gladly watching a bunch of fictional superhumans rule space. The cinematic world responsible for that also tempts viewer submission into vulgar comedies like Long Shot, which celebrates all the negative characteristics the nation spends its time pondering over, including the wrong conclusions drawn out about what will solve our problems.
This hard-R romantic comedy has issues that start with its inability to relate the target audience well with the two leads. As much as the pothead journalist, Fred, spends time with the youngest Secretary of State, the awkward sexualization of her buffers down the depth of a flashback he has. In that flashback, Fred was thirteen, she was his sixteen-year-old babysitter, they kissed, his crotch popped, and there’s nothing else to analyze about these characters beyond that. Eventually this overly familiar rom-com style suddenly becomes an action genre, then quickly back again without fluidity, proving an inability to stay focused on a cinematic style. No, it doesn’t matter if there is a hilariously realistic sex scene between these two very different members of the political arena, the appeal to a mass audience needs to go beyond familiar tropes.
In fact, the crass nature promotes bad uneasy images to merely conclude without reason that a woman as the president will solve our problems. In truth, no leader, man or woman, can stop everything that goes on beneath our awareness, including a submissive cult depicted in this movie that forces its all-White-male members to get a Swastika tattoo. Fred finds himself wound up in that very predicament on a journalism project, and that scene honestly should have been cut out completely for its lack of any relevance to the plot. There’s even grosser depictions of inferiority that holds back proper screen time on details that matter, it’s said at one point that Fred is Democratic, and his apparently inferior Black friend Lance is Christian-Republican; nothing important to the plot there, just thrown in as an attack on anyone who isn’t White and Atheist. The same goes to the nine different countries this romantic couple travels to; none of them are positively represented.
To worsen matters, the nonsensical script unintentionally borders around Saturday Night Live territory. Between the places these two go visit, the governmental structure ignores reality as no sense of security submits necessary borders around them. The Secretary’s proposal of a Global Rehabilitation Initiative to springboard a 2020 campaign comes off more like a terrible Fox News skit than something discussed in-depth on Good Morning, America.
Now, it’s not all bad, because the humor mostly works; Fred drinking tequila out of a baggie is immediately identifiable. Also, right before entering the Secretary of State’s office, considerable time lingers on the emptying of his pockets to security. If nothing else about him, Fred’s loud windbreaker should imprint the memory even when he churns out speeches inspired by his new girlfriend’s youth. So, topped off by the hilarious way he manipulates his incomplete Swastika tattoo, the circumstances of tequila squeezed from agaves generate a great laugh.
As a plus, the cast while not amazing at least passes as average, particularly O'Shea Jackson Jr. who submits his acting talent as Fred’s best friend and keeps things from drowning. Meanwhile, Seth Rogen’s clumsy walking style contrasts Charlize Theron’s silly hand wave that proves how disorderly she really is. Together, these two misfits submit a fair attempt at political parody based on what relatively little was available by the direction and script.
Speaking of scripts, here is a real fast definition of America: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.” (Declaration of Independence, 1776)
As much as Long Shot tries to honor tradition, many international films out there are still better at expanding the audience’s cultural horizons. Know that America’s name comes from Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian, which means since the very beginning, the United States remains White and male. Right now, looking at our cultural climate over the past three terms, orange became the new black, and boy became the new man. It would be wonderful to someday see a perfectly qualified Black lady rule from inside the oval office, but until that happens, please refrain from electing a drug-induced Charlize Theron who takes selecting her speechwriter so lightly.
Now, how are you? Feeling tipsy yet?
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
“The Declaration of Independence: What Does it Say?” National Archives. USA.gov. Web. <https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration/what-does-it-say>.
“How Did America Get Its Name?” The Loc.Gov. The Library of Congress. Web. <https://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/aug03/america.html>.
Long Shot. Lionsgate Entertainment. Web. <https://longshot.movie/>.
Tallerico, Brian. “Long Shot.” Digital image. Roger Ebert. Ebert Digital LLC, 30 Apr 2019. Web. <https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/long-shot-2019>.