Her assessment is not only correct, but the sharpest I’ve read anywhere. Yes, I’m impressed because she largely agrees with my own 4.24 pan. Toronto Star critic Peter Howell also understands and tells it straight.
A lot of reviewers are giving Long Shot a pass (83% positive on Rotten Tomatoes), calling it a “charming popcorn flick” or an outing that does the trick or delivers a good time, etc. Put a check mark next to every such reviewer as a way of reminding yourself to NEVER trust these guys again, at least when it comes to comedy.
Hornaday: “Long Shot, a fantasy-fueled romantic comedy starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, establishes its reality-adjacent ethos from the jump: In its tensely amusing opening scene Rogen’s character, an investigative reporter named Fred Flarsky, has infiltrated a neo-Nazi group and is undergoing an initiation, giving half-hearted ‘Heil, Hitlers’ and keeping the sarcastic patter going as he prepares to get a swastika tattoo.
“The sequence plays like BlacKkKlansman‘s goofball cousin, made all the more ludicrous when Fred escapes the escalating mayhem by jumping out a window and bouncing off a parked car with nary a scratch. Welcome to the raucous, cheerfully preposterous world of Long Shot, where slapstick physical comedy, coarse sex jokes and amusingly on-point political commentary are expected to coexist as happily as the self-righteous, adamantly inelegant Fred and Charlotte Field, Theron’s pragmatic, sleekly fashionable secretary of state who falls in love with him.
Best line of entire review…yes!: “You don’t have to suspend disbelief to enjoy Long Shot — you have to jettison it entirely, along with any sentimental attachments to archaic fundamentals such as sparkling dialogue, organic structure and genuine sexual chemistry.
“Directed by Jonathan Levine from a script by Dan Sterling and Liz Hannah, this is an awkward, uneven, occasionally very funny amalgamation of traditional rom-com tropes and the kind of sophomoric sight gags that have come to pass for comedy in recent years. The mash-up works only to the degree that viewers are totes okay with letting a bunch of random things happen in no particular order, for no discernible reason other than there might be a punchline at the end.”
Second best line: “The success of Long Shot also depends on one’s tolerance for Rogen, who delivered his finest performance in Levine’s touching 50/50 and here reverts to a familiar type: a slightly shambolic guy whose modesty, self-deprecating humor and refusal to conform are supposed to be charming but thinly mask a form of immature arrogance at his core.”
Even if you can’t read the rest of the review can be read on the Washington Post site, I’ve at least excerpted the best parts.