Even if you never had any intention of seeing The Interview there’s a high chance you’ve heard of it. Nearly every news channel covered the circumstances of its release. Hackers threatened violence against cinema goers if they saw the film and in response Sony Pictures pulled the release. Whether they made the right decision is up for debate and questions have been asked about censorship, bullying, and cyber-vandalism but the question of whether the actual movie is any good has taken a back seat. So is this a film worth all the fuss?
The answer is no, no it’s not really deserving of the controversy that’s had presidents and dictators wade in with their opinions on the furore. The Interview is a missed opportunity at comedic satire that could have been and should have been better. You probably know the plot already but I’ll recap it cos that’s the kind of guy I am. James Franco and Seth Rogen play chat show host Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport who in an effort to be taken seriously as journalists arrange an Interview with leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un. The CIA then involve them in a plot to assassinate Kim.
It’s a story that lends itself to satire, a peek behind the curtain of one of the most oppressive regimes in modern history. Instead directors Rogen and Evan Goldberg fall back on jokes about poop and objects being stuck up people’s’ asses. The actual true comedy comes from James Franco’s ridiculous performance. Instead of the usual Franco, Dave Skylark is more like someone having constant seizures inside a Franco skin-suit. Kind of like the bad guy in Men In Black. The character is definitely funny but is so far removed from any real world chat show host that the satire doesn’t land. On the other hand when he’s onscreen the film has a spark that you don’t get with Rogen’s character.
Aside from James Franco acting crazy there’s not much to love about The Interview. There are some funny lines but not enough to get you through the duller parts. And when the movie seems to be moving into insightful territory about the true power of dictators it fluffs it and goes back to juvenility. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the movie but it could have been so much more. The Interview will be remembered for the craziness surrounding its release but not for being a particularly brilliant film. If you want to see the ultimate comedy about an idiot going behind the enemy lines of a communist regime then check out Top Secret! instead.
Have you seen The Interview? Are you North Korean? Which political leader would you like to kill? Let me know in the comments below!