By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jun 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Dear readers, I have seen our savior, and its name is Google. Google is a shining, six-letter, multi-colored beacon of light and hope in these dark, difficult times, and its technological wizardry and bountiful features bring joy to the hearts of millions. All hail our wonderful search engine leader. All hail it indeed.

At least, that was my main takeaway coming out of "The Internship," a woefully humor-devoid workplace comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Google’s name is slathered all over the film, and characters glowingly talk about the tech giant, its headquarters and the essence of Google – "Googliness," if you will – in ways that are guaranteed to make the company’s PR department squeal with delight ("imagine the greatest amusement park from your childhood but better!").

Even the climax and end credit sequence make sure to put all of Google’s numerous attributes on clear display.

If the makers of "The Internship" took just one percent of the effort they put into shoving the Google logo into every nook and cranny of the frame and put it toward, I don’t know, some jokes or some original ideas, it’d be the best comedy of the year.

As it stands, it’s unfathomably dull, generic, and an absolute slog to get through. It plays like being trapped in an elevator with two obnoxiously talkative salesmen for several hours but without the hope of them eventually running out of oxygen.

Fittingly enough, the former "Wedding Crashers" play two watch salesmen, fast-talking Billy (Vaughn) and smooth-talking Nick (Wilson). After their boss (John Goodman, king of the cameo these days) closes up shop and hangs them out to dry, the two are left searching for new jobs. Billy finds them something: an internship competition at Google, with the prize being full-time jobs.

One awkward but somehow successful video chat interview later (Billy and Nick don't understand how to use video chat, one of many forced jokes that make "The Internship" feel like it was written by your grandparents), the boys head off to Google.

There, they meet the predictable stock characters that fill out the rest of the plot, including the bully (Max Minghella), the romantic interest (Rose Byrne, too lovely for such a boring role) and their stern boss (Aasif Mandvi).

They also get assigned to their team of nerdy misfits, including a horny cosplayer (Tiya Sircar), a sarcastic techno-savvy shut-in (Dylan O’Brien), an overstressed home schooler (Tobit Raphael) and their sweet but awkward leader Lyle (Josh Brener).

Of course, they don’t get along at first, what with them being young and motivated and our heroes being loud, obnoxious and incompetent. However, the team warms to Vaughn and Wilson’s endless inspirational ramblings about ’80s movies and eventually bonds over strippers and alcohol just in time for the final events of the internship competition.

Leading up to its release, the joke about "The Internship" was that it seemed like the guaranteed hit summer comedy of a decade ago, and the movie does everything in its power to prove its mocking detractors right. There is no bandwagon from eight years ago the writers (Vaughn and Jared Stern) won’t desperately sprint after.

Billy and Nick run around looking for "Professor Xavier" (the guys who referenced "Terminator" earlier haven’t heard of the X-Men ... sure), a limp reference to a franchise already in the midst of a reboot leading to an even more limp shot-to-the-crotch joke. Then there’s an utterly useless Quidditch match (something the boys also haven’t heard of because there wasn’t any television, books or movies under the rock they called home) because Harry Potter was a thing that was popular a while back.

There’s a reference to "Hot in Herre" because those apparently still happen. Even the whole main theme of "man, isn’t technology just crazy these days" is a revelation from the Bush presidency.

The whole movie feels tragically unhip, and the more it tries to get with the times, the more outdated it feels. It’s the cinematic equivalent of your Mom bragging about how she finally got on The Facebook and asking what you thought of the last episode of "The O.C."

A side note about that unnecessary Quidditch match: In the middle of the scene, Nick yells, "What does this have to do with computers?" I appreciate it when a movie points out its own plot holes for me, but then the sequence went on for another interminable, laugh-free ten minutes. Points for self-awareness, revoked.

The cobwebs extend to our stars, whose chemistry from 2005’s "Wedding Crashers" seems to have gone the way of AltaVista and pretty much disappeared. Wilson seems to be trying to out-bland his brother Luke. The requisite dinner date with Byrne in which he’s trying to be every bad date she never got to have could’ve been funny and charming, if only he was more interesting than the tablecloth.

Then there’s Vaughn. To be honest, I’ve never been much of a fan of his fast-talking everyman shtick. At one point, one of the young interns tells him, "you’re saying a lot words fast that don’t mean anything," which nicely encapsulates Vaughn’s last decade of films. Here, he’s stuck making long, extended references to "Flashdance" and talking himself into jokeless circles.

"The Internship" could be filled with references to the Red Wedding and Amanda Bynes, though, and it still would feel tired. The young cast members try their best to wring some laughs from the material, but they can't help the fact that the jokes are all frustratingly predictable and weak. Only Josh Gad of "The Book of Mormon" fame finds consistent success as a mysterious Google employee.

The story isn’t much better. It follows the formula to the letter, including the group’s eventual – though completely unearned – connection, the cartoon villain, the romance with a seemingly cold workaholic and the subplots that involve coaching trite life lessons to our little techies.

There’s even the tedious going separate ways drama that rings heavily of "Wedding Crashers," with a character hitting his lowest point associating with a scream-happy cameo (not Will Ferrell in this case, though he does make an early appearance).

After an almost two hour running time, "The Internship" mercifully comes to close. The good guys win. The bad guy gets punched in the crotch. Google gets to show off some of its sexy new features, and a JibJab clip plays because that’s a thing people were into a decade ago.

Also, the other interns applaud wildly for our heroes, despite the fact that they were in direct competition and now they don’t have jobs. I understand it’s a workplace comedy, but why does it have to feel like so much work to sit through?

Oh well. I’m sure the creators’ Google overlords were happy with the final product. They’re probably the only ones.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.