Amid all the controversy, we take a look at the infamous comedy The Interview. Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring James Franco, Rogen, and Randall Park, it is rated R for pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use and bloody violence.
If you’ve been living in a hole the past few weeks and don’t know what the film is about, The Interview follows celebrity talk show host Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) as they land an interview with avid fan and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. As the duo prepares for their interview, the CIA prepares them, two of the most unqualified men alive, to assasinate the totalitarian leader.
5 out of 10
Let’s be honest, the only reason any of us saw this movie is because of the huge stir it caused. In case you’ve been living under a rock for weeks, The Interview is, in a nutshell, about assassinating North Korean dictator Kim-Jong Un. No problem, right? Yeah, until terrorist threats were made on theaters that show the film. As a result, most theaters refused to show it. So Sony decided to put it online for people to stream. Maybe they realized how stupid the movie was and that they weren’t going to make much money from it, so might as well milk some controversy out of it (jokes). That concludes the extent of my current event knowledge. To be clear, there is no way this was a stunt, so get that out of your heads. Anyway, on to the movie. The Interview is definitely not Rogen or Franco’s best (This Is The End was golden), though it did provide a good laugh here and there.
The first twenty minutes are pitifully terrible. The jokes aren’t funny. The opening image (a young Korean girl singing a song about raping women while a missile launches, at least I think) is kinda funny, but also kind of tasteless. The writers had to heavily rely on being offensive rather than being clever, which is, in retrospect perfectly okay, but only to a limit. Which this film had none of. The bit with Eminem put a smile on my face, but nothing sustained. My point is, there was absolutely nothing special about the beginning of the film. James Franco character was, to put it nicely, a dumbass. He wasn’t even a funny dumbass, he was just a dumbass.
However, it did pick up, albeit slightly. The satirical nature of Kim Jong Un and the relationship that him and Dave Skylark (Franco) was really funny at moments– the Katy Perry part was a fun little reference. I guess the stupidity of Skylark’s character did lead to a lot of humorous moments, but at the same time, it was overkill. That was this film’s main problem; it didn’t know its limits. It overused and overkilled just about every single joke. Everything became stale and unoriginal. To put the cherry on top, there was some really excessive violence towards the end, in the form of a Korean graphically biting off Seth Rogen’s hand. That was a little much, an example of the film not knowing its limitations. The ending was ridiculous, a little bit anticlimactic but *spoiler* Kim-Jong Un blows up in incredulous fashion, so I’m not sure what else you can ask for.
I’ll be honest here (lot of honesty in this post), I’m kind of struggling with figuring out what to say at this point. The jokes were mediocre, James Franco’s character was dumb, rinse and repeat. It’s silly, immature, weird, whacky, crazy, etc. etc. etc. It’s really a hit or miss. This is the kind of movie I would watch at Zach’s house at three in the morning when we don’t have anything else to do. You could think its funny, you could think its very unfunny. So my verdict is this: it’s worth a view if you have nothing else to do, and six bucks is a nice price to pay if you can watch it with all your friends in the luxury of your home. But, if this movie was in theaters, no way I’m paying to go see it. This is no Horrible Bosses or 21 Jump Street, but hey, Go America right?
Let me preface this by saying that I love free speech so much. It’s probably one of the reasons that our revolution was successful when so many others haven’t been. It’s probably the reason that we don’t have to call ourselves the Democratic Peoples Republic of the United States. It’s most definitely the reason that unqualified idiot like us can start a WordPress and just kinda write our thoughts.
I say all of this because the GOP is about 90% why we’re talking about this film as a nation. Terrorism is great publicity, folks, and using fear to strip an entire population of its liberties worked startlingly well in this case. So if you really do want to see this and let freedom reign, do it! By all means, stick it to the all those Juches. But my task here isn’t to defend free speech, it’s to review a movie which is why I have to say: The Interview sucked for the most part.
I love it when North Korea tries to intimidate and it all just blows up in its face but this pretty forgettable film isn’t really worth all of the conversation swirling around it that’s drawing in the masses. It’s pretty stupid. It’s like if That’s My Boy, Hangover III or any of their mediocre peers just won some political controversy lottery and got about $15 million worth and a whole week of nonstop publicity.
What do I look at as the model for modern political satire? Borat. Borat is very, very stupid yes but it’s also very smart in that it uses that stupidity to show how ignorant both the Americans Borat interacts with and the culture he pretends to hail from can be. The Interview is a slew of pretty cheap shots at North Korea that have all been covered: Kim Jong Un is supposed to be a God but he’s really a tubby, overgrown kid; the entire nation purports that it’s a utopia but it’s crappy etc.
It’s almost like a Sony executive sat down and surfed Youtube for a solid day and figured out that people love to hate the tiny country. The problem with that is that it’s kind of odd to just pick on North Korea right now for political satire. With everything going on and all of the cartoonish enemies we have against us, they chose the DPRK? Why not a movie where Franco and Rogen spy on Putin? I would legitimately watch the hell out of that.
Notice I haven’t really lampooned either of our two leads here. Even though they don’t have a lot of material to work with, they rock it. Whenever they’re working together, it feels very eased and genuine since they have a friendship to build on. They do excellent work here but it isn’t enough to cave the movie from all of its hackneyed humor. The plot that surrounds them is pretty predictable as well; it was one of those plots where you could slowly predict more and more about as it unraveled.
See it? Unless you really care about democracy and our liberties, I would take a pass on this. Let’s just say Kim Jong Un is extremely lucky that the first widespread satire of his rule wasn’t quite pitch-perfect.
**The 0.5 is because I love my country.