“They Hate Us Cause They Anus”
The greatest thing about watching this movie was the idea that I may be sticking it to North Korea. Regardless of whether you believe North Korea was behind the attack, it did add a different element to watching the movie.
“The Interview” opens up on the talk show Skylark Tonight, hosted by Dave Skylark (played by James Franco) interviewing Eminem. During the interview Eminem “professes” to being gay. That pretty much sets the tone for this movie. Skylark Tonight is produced by Aaron Rapaport (played by Seth Rogen) who tries to be the voice of reason throughout the movie, but doesn’t quite pull it off.
During a party, Aaron runs into an old college friend who has a more serious job in news, making Aaron feel inadequate as the producer of a show more concerned with balding stars than real news. To try to make his friend happy, Dave pitches the idea of interviewing Kim Jong-un, who just happens to be a big fan “Skylark Tonight”.
Fast forward to after a serious night of partying, we come to where the CIA feels that this is the perfect opportunity to assassinate this crazy dictator. From then on, we watch Dave develop a bro-mance with their target, while Aaron tries to keep a level head during the shenanigans.
From a critical standpoint, there isn’t much here. If you’re looking for plot, great cinematography, and awesome action, you’re looking in the wrong place. After its over, you’ll wonder why North Korea would take issue with it, especially with other movies like Team America out there floating around. You could boil down the plot to “Arrive in North Korea, bond with a dictator, run into some problems, find out dictator is lying, final showdown with unrealistic explosions, THE END”.
What this movie does do well is portray a parody of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and two idiots who would be my last choice for a spy / assassination mission. It also delivers enough butt, sex, and dirty jokes to keep you laughing throughout, if that’s your kind of humor.
James Franco’s performance seems off. Overall, his portrayal of a vain and tasteless entertainment show host is way over the top. I also think he kisses every guy on the set at least once. Seth Rogen does what he’s known for, essentially playing Seth Rogen. Dirty one-liners and humiliating acts abound in that loose surly fashion that he does. When these two are on screen together, which unfortunately doesn’t happen much during the last half of the movie, they play well off each other.
Randall Park plays Kim Jong-un and pulls off a standout performance, ably switching from ego-maniacal dictator to a hip and sensitive man pretty well. Diana Bang also supports as propaganda manager Sook, who also does good job switching demeanor when required. She and Seth Rogen play off each other nicely together as well.
We also have Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Timothy Simons (Veep), and Anders Holm (Workaholics), all have negligible roles with dry one liners and very little screen time.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Reminded me of the first time I saw Austin Powers. With an unbelievable premise wrapped in adolescent jokes, you can’t go wrong. Just make sure you leave any (high) expectations at the door.