Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang
Directed by: Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Synopsis: Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight.” When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.
OK, let’s pretend that the furore about North Korea, hacking and Sony never happened. Let’s pretend that The Interview was released as planned. Is it any good? It’s OK. Is it funny? Occasionally. Are there endless dick and fart jokes, as normal with a Rogen picture? Of course there are.
And there lies the problem. It’s just more of the same schtick from these guys, who still (STILL) seem to think that those kind of jokes are funny, and they just aren’t anymore. I’m not saying that the whole movie is terrible, because there was the odd gag that made me laugh but seriously, it wasn’t worth the hassle it’s caused!
James Franco plays a rather inept chat show host, and Rogen his long term producer. They land an interview with none other than crackpot North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in an effort to be taken seriously. However, before they get a chance to interview the dictator, the CIA intervene and request that they assasinate him instead. Cue hilarity.
Nothing about The Interview, considering it’s circumstances, is remarkable. There is nothing cutting or inventive, it really is just the usual fare of naked women, booze, boners and Rogen’s familiar stoner laugh. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Rogen and Franco particularly, but there does come a point when the same old jokes start to wear thin. You would have like to have seen something a bit more satirical or humour a bit more political and clever in a film such as this. It just seems, considering everything that has happened since, to be a complete waste of time and money. If they were going to cause this much grief, they might as well have ‘said’ something whilst they were at it.
They do a good job of trying to really humiliate Kim Jong-un as much as possible by making out he drinks cocktails, listens to Katy Perry and is possibly gay. They have him as an insecure wimp who ends up shitting himself on live TV and then getting blown up in a helicopter (sorry for ruining it, but presumably you’re never going to get a chance to see this anyway so who cares, right)?! This was all done as subtley as it reads, and if all the rumours are true, obviously pee’d Kim off something chronic. To be honest, it all seemed a bit “we are American and we are just going to laugh at the other guy because he’s supposed to be a nutter”. Whatever you think of North Korea, it’s leader, and his politics, I’m sure they could have fleshed out the character a bit better than resorting to toilet humour.
In fact, all they had to do was look at Team America to see how it should be done. Again, that was littered with poo and dick jokes, and made political leaders, including Kim’s father, look like idiots, but it was done with a much more clever slant.
The Interview is ultimately probably fortunate that it has created the waves it has, because as a standalone movie it’s not worth a second look. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t terribly funny either.