Movie Review: ‘The Interview’
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan, Diana Bang
Plot: An entertainment reporter and his producer/BFF try to make a name for themselves by interviewing the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The CIA recruit them to assassinate the ruler on their behalf. The plan goes awry when the reporter gets taken in my Kim Jong-un’s propaganda.
Review: So here we are, the most talked about movie of the year. The movie that generated discussions of censorship, threats of terrorism and potential international incidents. Nothing in the world of entertainment is as big an issue as this comedy that purports to depict an assassination of the biggest threat to the USA, setting the backdrop to the biggest data theft in history, threats of mass murder and heated debate about the proper recourse. And now we’ve seen it.
Let’s set aside the important issues surrounding this movie and do what we’re here to do and look at this as a movie. The only selling point is the concept, which is less ‘entertainment reporter attempts to kill North Korean leader’ and more ‘Seth Rogen and James Franco do their routine while trying to kill North Korean leader’. You’ll only see this movie as having real value if you’re not yet tired of Rogen and Franco doing the same schtick they do in all their comedies. In terms of character and performance they push no boundaries with this one. Lizzie Caplan as the tough talking CIA agent is criminally underused and Randall Park as Kim Jong-un puts in the most effort, but has weak material.
In terms of comedy there’s very little to raise a chuckle. A prolonged scene features people biting off each other’s fingers, and another focuses primarily of Rogen having to shove a capsule up his ass. It’s mostly crude, poorly set-up scenarios for the characters to ad-lib through. The portrayal of Kim Jong-un is a lazy satire, turning him into a figure of fun because…wait for it…he likes Katy Perry and drinks margaritas. The peak of the movie is James Franco’s talkshow host becoming buddies the supreme ruler, but it’s not enough to sustain the movie.
People will no doubt flood to cinemas to see this one due to the controversy surrounding it, so nothing I say here will make a difference. Just keep things in perspective, unlike the hordes of voters on imdb.com keeping it at 9.3/10 as though they’re making some great stride for democracy and freedom of expression. It’s not as funny or as biting as Team America: World Police and I laughed more at the ‘Kim Jong-Un Wants Cake’ blog. It’s more on the level of the abysmal Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. Go see Big Hero 6 instead.
Rating: THREE out of TEN