The Interview – 4 out of 5
Thanks to the subject matter in the story and the resulting controversy and terrorists threats that came about with this film, the entire world is completely aware of The Interview. The controversy made it the Must See film of holidays and, according to my Facebook Newsfeed (which is, in no way, an accurate sampling of the movie viewing community), a lot of people made watching The Interview the reason for the season…even Jesus was watching it and, according to my overly religious members of my family who don’t talk to me, He is the actual reason for the season. Had the hub-bub over this film not occurred, would people have flocked to watch this when it was released on the ‘net and on Video On Demand services? Probably not in the foaming at the mouth way it happened because, due to the terrorist threat, this movie suddenly became something to do for ‘Murica. Anyway, I checked it out on Christmas with my family but missed a lot of it (there was still food to eat and presents to open, dammit) and I gave it another go this last weekend to fill in what I missed.
|What I didn't miss was that Joker suit. That shit is amazing!|
|She has a headset on so I'm assuming she's enduring|
homophobic and racial slurs on X-Box Live right now.
Dave Skylark (James Franco) is a celebrity journalist who specializes in giving the viewing public the celeb-obsessed, bubblegum news stories they crave. Meanwhile, his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) wants to be involved in real journalism. One day, it is revealed that North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un (Randall Park) is a big fan of Skylark and his show. Rapoport contacts Kim’s offices and the dictator grants an interview. The CIA and its agents, led by Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan), coerces Skylark and Rapoport to assassinate the leader of North Korea. Reluctantly, the two agree and they set out to do the dirty deed. Unfortunately, Skylark suddenly finds himself getting along with the leader and believes him to be misunderstood. Can Aaron change Dave’s mind and show him that he’s being manipulated by Kim Jung-un and get him back on board the mission to end the dictator’s life? Or did Dave Skylark just become besties with the leader of North Korea? (There’s literally no point in being mysterious here because we all know how this film ends…this movie might be the only case where the ending didn’t involve people crying “Spoilers!.”)
|This is how I imagine people look when they're screaming about Spoilers on the internet.|
|So...where exactly does Randall Park's career go|
Some debate has been raised about whether or not the hacks on Sony were real and if the threats of terrorism to any theater that showed the film were legit or not. While I lean towards they were the real deal, I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t some sort of publicity stunt (studios aren’t above such idiotic moves) because a film that was receiving little buzz beyond people smugly calling it bad without seeing it or people just saying “look at that” and moving on suddenly became a film that flag wavers were crying out to be something that was All-American and was the very symbol of freedom. Regardless, I was actually interested in seeing the film and it was suppose to the Christmas movie my girlfriend and I were going to see Christmas morning—we see a film every year before we spend time with my family.
|We all knew the boner jokes were going to be here when we signed up for|
Another thing that struck me about the film was the very subject material. The flag wavers who took it as a big Fuck You to North Korea by watching it are probably the same people who would have flipped the fuck out if the film was done as a polar opposite. When I first heard that this film was being made, the first thing that came to my mind was, “How would America react if, by some miracle, North Korea made a major motion picture where they have some TV personalities come assassinate our leader?” Granted, a lot of your racist, Conservative Aunts and Uncles who call Obama a socialist and the Antichrist might actually cheer on the film and call Kim Jung-un their new hero but if the film was made when Bush was in office those same Aunts and Uncles would be calling for the nuking of the country and not be talking about freedom (these are the people who think only our freedoms matter). Realistically, a film like that would never be made by North Korean but there is a big feeling of being gigantic hypocrites that come with The Interview.
|And to think, I used to not stand this guy. How times have changed.|
Regardless of all this, I have to say the film is very funny. It’s obvious the film was made to be controversial and push people’s buttons and there’s no deny that it feels like one of those stand up comedians who thinks being edgy means doing rape jokes but this feeling is only skin-deep with The Interview. Yes, the film is all about causing an uproar but in that uproar, the film is providing some great commentary on the media and making some comments about the ridiculous nature of politics. While the points the film makes about the dictatorship in North Korea or American foreign policies aren’t that strong, the film really nails the absurd nature of the American media and how it’s basically a giant circle-jerking circus. Dave Skylark repeatedly says in the film that the Number One rule of journalism is to give the people what they want and, for better or worse, that is exactly what the media does. Look at the differences between the way Fox will show a story and the way CNN will tell the same one. The film also shows how our media is constantly manipulated and they show this by the way Jung-un convinces Skylark that his country is fine and there are no death camps or starvation and Skylark believes it because he is the media and is being manipulated like a puppet on a string. Think about how our media is constantly pulled and push into directions that corporations or politicians want or how regular people can pull hoaxes on the ‘net and the media outlets repost them like legit news (remember that girl who, for realsies, got a third boob and you shared the story and called her dumb but, as it turns out, the whole thing wasn't real?). In my opinion, some of the funniest stuff this movie had was the jabs it took at the media.
|Just two dudes hanging out in a tank...and one of them is a dictator with a bad haircut.|
|Eminem's scene is legitimately hilarious...not like that|
crossover comic book that had him beat up The
Punisher, that was accidentally hilarious.
Like every time they are together, Seth Rogen and James Franco are fun, hysterical, and showcase a real chemistry. The two play off each other and made for some very funny moments that involved the usual stuff these guys are known for when they do comedies together—read that as drugs, boners, butt stuff, and fart jokes. Sure, the moments these two have cracking insults at one another isn't high-brow stuff or hyper-intelligent affairs but I still found these sequences very amusing. Franco really pulled out all the stops to be a character that is ridiculously over-the-top and hilariously colorful with his grand gestures and odd faces. Seriously, Franco had me laughing often with nothing more than some of his facial expressions during his interviewing segments.
|"I'm Tits McGee..."|
The only real complaint I had about this one is the fact the film didn’t do a very good job at showing Skylark being betrayed by Jung-un. The sequences where Skylark and Jung-un are BFF-ing it up are genuinely hysterical to me and do a great job at lampooning how Dennis Rodman became buddies with the dictator but the reveal that Kim was lying to Skylark the whole time and isn’t as good or as loveable as he is portraying himself isn’t as strong as it should be. Skylark catches him in two lies and suddenly he is all aboard the assassination train. For the most part, it works but it just wasn’t as strong as it could have been…at least not strong enough to warrant the very graphic way that Skylark deals out the assassination.
|This scene gets worse...|
Was The Interview worth all the hoopla and controversy? Actually, yes because it is clearly a movie that has a hard-on for murdering a real life political leader. I’m not a fan of North Korea but I can kinda see why some from that area are a tad bit upset over that. However, ignoring all the BS freedom of speech talk that inevitably comes with the film, the movie never gets boring and has a lot of really funny moments that are lead by two very likable fellows.