This movie is going to be remembered for every reason except it being a good movie. It’s certainly not surprising that North Korea took offense to its release, nor is it surprising that Sony eventually decided to release it, but perhaps the most unsurprising thing about it is the fact that James Franco and Seth Rogen really like rectums. I’m assuming that during one of their coke-fueled bro sessions (I assume they have those in real life), they once again found their sixth-grade humor, thought about their luscious behinds, and decided to make a movie about peeing and pooping in North Korea.
Of course, the success of Rogen and Franco rests on this type of immature humor, and it has certainly worked in the past. However, The Interview takes “hit or miss” and deletes the first two words of that phrase, pointing and laughing as Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) is sticking something up his humongous chasm of an asshole or as Dave Skylark (Franco) is being an insufferable douche. There’s nothing wrong with their brand of humor if it’s well-executed, but this movie’s humor is sloppily handled throughout, constantly returning to the same overdone jokes and physical comedy. Franco essentially parodies himself–it’s not as clever as you think, man–Rogen does nothing, and Lizzy Caplan one-ups both of them in her 1.2 seconds of screen time…before being unceremoniously shoved off to the side.
Interestingly enough, the most humor is found in Randall Park’s excellent performance as Kim Jong-un. It’s a tough role to pull off, but he does it beautifully, and Park’s comic presence automatically elevates Franco’s performance from unbearable to less unbearable. The actual interview segment of the movie is well done by both, and the climax has some entertaining bits that are too little, too late. Ultimately, there are a few throwaway lines about journalistic integrity and a few references to Kim Jong-un’s oppressive regime, but Rogen and Franco are simply interested in making a buddy comedy. That’s perfectly fine, but the comedy part is lost in the shuffle, and The Interview will live on as a culturally significant movie with an inverse relationship between publicity and actual humor.
-The first 10 minutes or so are easily the funniest. It begins with a North Korean girl singing a song about Kim Jong-un that quickly turns into an “I hate America” bit, and it’s followed up with some great cameos that have nothing to do with the North Korean part of the movie.
-Diana Bang plays Sook, a propagandist for Kim Jong-un. She’s pretty good.
-It’s stated in the movie that Kim Jong-Un likes The Big Bang Theory. Looks like he has the same bad taste as much of the American public.
-The movie is actually really well shot. The credit there goes to Brandon Trost.
-I’m really interested to see how this fares online. Simultaneously releasing it in theaters and online makes this a case study for movies in general.
-This whole situation is not about the First Amendment, for those who say it is.
-The Eminem cameo is pretty great. “I was basically leaving a breadcrumb trail of gayness.” “It looks like the real Slim Shady just stood up.” “He’s cleaning out his closet…and he finds himself!”
-Speaking of, the cameos are pretty great, and I very much enjoyed Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the puppies.
– “Don’t shake that hand…Aaron is a Jew!”
-Kim Jong-un dying in an explosion while a slowed-down version of “Firework” plays in the background is a great visual, but the ending of the movie in general is hardly anything special. That dog, though.
Photo credit: The Interview, Sony Pictures