A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
We all know about North Korea. We know it’s a controversial nation that is infamous for it’s tyrannical totalitarian leaders and regimes. We also know that they proudly became champions of the world after winning the World Cup last year!
There’s no denying that curiosity surrounds most of us when pondering a visit to the backwards country, but I think we’re more than happy at the end of the day to send James Franco and Seth Rogen there instead.
“The Interview” was the most talked about film of last year for obvious reasons, but the amount of hysteria and worldwide contentiousness was ridiculous for me. At the end of the day, “The Interview” is a B-rate comedy film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco…get over it!
Having seen “The Interview” a while after most, it’s safe to say that nothing has come from the distribution of the film following the cancellation through cinematic release. Online and through advertising, the film only made $6million, which isn’t such a bad thing considering it wasn’t a film deserving of a major profit.
“The Interview” sees famed talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and best friend Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) travel to North Korea to interview the one and only Kim Jong Un (Randall Park). President Kim is a fan of Skylark’s show and requested a personal interview in his home nation. After realising the potential popularity and worldwide traffic this historical interview would receive, Skylark and Rapaport jump on the opportunity, only to be intercepted by the C.I.A who see it as a prime opportunity to “take Kim out”.
Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) assigns the two nitwit journalists with a mission to befriend the leader and proceed to assassinate him in the most discreet manner possible. But of course, being a silly comedy, things don’t play out as seamlessly. In what amounts to essentially 90 minutes of racism, crudeness, tomfoolery and a little bit of Stockholm syndrome, “The Interview” is exactly what you’d expect.
The first act of the film is rather enjoyable. Before the primary story comes into play, there’s a really well written opening full of satire and fun, making a mockery of celebrities and the media. There are fantastic cameos and some genuine laughs to be had. Sadly, it all begins to travel downhill as soon as North Korea enters the picture. What makes it even more difficult to watch is the portrayal of Kim Jong Un.
He’s a laid back, likeable guy who tries to convince Skylark that the world has the wrong idea about him. It’s as soon as he starts to be portrayed as someone even more ridiculous than the protagonists that “The Interview” loses all credibility. It definitely had some potential, and if the clever, intelligent writing seen in the film’s opening continued throughout the entire film, we could have had a genuinely good picture on our hands, but sadly it’s not the case. “The Interview” results in being mediocre at best.
A postive to take from the film is the chemistry between real life pals Franco and Rogen. Their bond is clear and substantial which makes their character interactions a little more enjoyable to watch. They’ve partnered up in the past in films like “Pineapple Express” and “This Is The End”, but “The Interview” sees them in a slightly more mature setting, I guess…
It’s been a controversial opening to the year for movies. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is upon us, we’ve heard all there is to say about “American Sniper” and now we’ve finally calmed down after the potential violent repercussions of “The Interview”.
All I can say regarding the matter of “The Interview” is that precaution was necessary, but at the end of the day, it’s “The Interview”! C’mon!
I remember when “Team America: World Police” was released back in 2004. It generated some controversy for sure, but even after it portrayed the late Kim Jong Il to literally be a cockroach, it didn’t surpass the discussion regarding “The Interview”.
At the end of it all, I was mildly amused by “The Interview” but nothing more. There are some laughs to be had, particularly in the first act, but after that, the typical crudeness of Rogen and Franco takes over in tiresome fashion. Don’t hold your breath for “The Interview”, find something else to watch instead.
If for some reason you’re insistent on watching an infamous leader get assassinated on screen for your own sick personal enjoyment, watch “Team America” or “Inglourious Basterds”, they’re much, much better films.