Plot: In the action-comedy “The Interview,” Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show ‘Skylark Tonight.’ When they discover that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the most unlikely candidates, to ‘take out’ Kim Jong-un.
Review: 2014 was filled with tons of great movie hype and news, but no movie will have as much impact this year as Seth Rogen and James Franco’s The Interview. The impact of course being due to Sony pulling the film because of threats from hackers and North Korea, who were not at all thrilled about the movies take on Kim Jung Un or North Korea. After President Obama publicly humiliated Sony for pulling the film, it was decided to release it on VOD and in limited theaters.
The film itself is a humorous take on both North Korea and America. It stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, who work as journalists whose main contributions are celebrity news and gossip. When Aaron (played by Rogen) decides he wants to do more hard hitting journalism, they find out that North Korean leader Kim Jung Un( played amazingly by Randall Park) is a huge fan of their show and wants to do an interview with Dave (played by Franco.) This is a movie made by the same people who did “Superbad” and “This is the end,” so audiences should know what they are getting into. It’s a raunchy comedy made for adults, so be prepared.
They start off with a bang as Dave interviews Eminem in what is one of the funniest moments I have seen all year. Kudos to Slim Shady for playing along and playing himself too. The first act of the film is great, with the celebrity interviews taking being funny and random. Once the CIA comes in to recruit the pair to take out Kim Jung Un, things begin to slow down a bit. The second act is funny but drags a bit. But once Un is introduced, the movie picks up speed again, as Un and Dave begin to develop a bromance that compromises the mission. Some great movies are interspersed throughout, including Rogens’ run in with a tiger and hilarious one liners that well be repeated well into 2015, including the word “honeydicking.” Also try to get Katy Perry’s fireworks song out of your head after watching it.
Rogen and Franco are of course a great duo on screen, using their chemistry to make their friendship believable and funny. There is nothing really new, having seen “Pineapple Express” and “This is the End,” but if it’s not broken don’t fix it. Randall Park was a standout performance, playing Un in such a way that at times you love the guy but slowly start to realize that he is in fact a mad dictator.
So a lot of reviewers have criticized “The Interview” for being racist and insensitive to many different types of ethnicities and races. They must have forgotten that this is comedy at heart, it is meant to offend and be gratuitous and looking at where the subject matter is coming from, that should not be a surprise. That being said, if you are easily offended, this is one to stay away from. For everyone else, it’s a must see.
This is one of the first movies in history to be pulled from theaters before release due to a global conflict. Being released on VOD so early and cheap will strongly effect how movies are released in the future. Is this the best Rogen/Franco film? No, it has its great moments but it is not the be all end all of bromance comedies. But it is well worth it to check it out. 8/10