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 dictator 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 two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment
December 24, 2014
Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen and James Franco in the Road to North Korea
In the Interview James Franco plays Dave Skylark, an over the top Geraldo Rivera style tabloid television journalist. Always by his side is his best friend and producer Aaron Rapaport played by Seth Rogen. While very successful in there own style of programing, Aaron wishes to do more hard hitting 60 minutes style journalism. Dave eventually discovers that Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) the North Korean Dictator is a fan of their program, and Aaron manages to arrange an interview. When word gets out, the CIA becomes involved and devises a plan for the two to kill Kim Jong-un with Ricin. Thank you Breaking Bad.
Well incase you have been living under a rock or an evil North Korean dictator you have undoubtedly heard of all the controversy surrounding this film. North Korea hacking Sony pictures, airing everyones dirty laundry. Cyber terrorists threaten the release of the opening. The theaters refuse to release the film amidst the threat of terrorist attacks. Alamo Theaters in response releases showings of Team America: World Police (2004); a film that took heat for its portrayal for Kim Jong-il. The release of Team America was blocked by the studio. Eventually the Interview is released online and at select theaters. I find it very fitting that the Alamo is the theater that has the courage to release the film. The Alamo being an iconic symbol of American bravery. Remember the Alamo indeed. The theater had a special drink and dinner menu for the show, offering things like loaded Freedom Fries and red white and blue milkshakes. Before the movie rolled there were clips from North Korean television programs, as a means to demonstrate the North Korean dislike for Americans. Alongside that they showed Franco and Rogen’s Kanye West Youtube video parody, for levity. Immediately before the movie ran, there was a short video message from Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg and James Franco, congratulating the audience and Alamo for being brave, free Americans; a very funny and fitting touch.
The film itself was exactly like I had imagined. Pineapple Express (2008) with a shallow political message, never deeper than our two favorite bumbling stoner buddies will allow us to go. Predictable to satisfying perfection. I think with the amount of times we have seen Rogen and Franco together, we get the dynamic of their relationship. Franco a wide-eyed narcissistic pretty boy with a devil may care attitude, and Rogen the slightly more intelligent strait man who continues to let Franco talk him in to crazy schemes. The comedy team is as classic as Abbot and Costello or Bing Crosby and Bob Hope’s road movies. If you were on board for Superbad (2007), Pineapple Express (2008) and This is the End (2013) you will love this movie. If you are interested in seeing it just for the notoriety of the controversy, you might want to pass. The soundtrack, minus the over play of Katy Perry’s Firework for comedic effect was good. There is a very fitting inclusion of David Bowie and Trent Reznor’s, I’m Afraid of Americans, worth mentioning.
Its a wonder if now with the hype surrounding this movie, more of the world will take notice of it. Could this have been the most elaborate viral marketing campaign ever? And what message does this send the rest of the world about our culture? Has America’s chief export become raunchy, sophomoric sex comedies packed with dick and fart jokes? Its ironic that this is the foot we are currently leading with to celebrate our right to free speech in America. But free speech is not always about popular speech. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote about the philosophy of Voltaire “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. Watching the Interview helps remind us about whats great about being an American, your right to free speech and to see this film. Freedom rang in that dark theater, echoing melodiously along with giggles from Franco’s explanation of haters; “Hate us because they ain’t us”. “Ain’t us” sounding like anus of course.
So wait — you’re telling me we had an international crisis over this movie? Is the joke on us?
This is your everyday Seth Rogan and James Franco dude-rom-com — full of inappropriate jokes and dumb one-liners you can’t wait to borrow from. If you like Superbad and This Is The End, you’re going to like The Interview. If those movies aren’t your thing, then there is no need to view it. You can show your American pride by buying an American-made product (personal passion plug!)
I read a few reviews that says The Interview is more about making fun of the shift in journalism priorities versus the North Korean dictator. Agreed. I’m sure there is some “meaning” from Rogan and Franco about media, politics, etc. But honestly this movie just isn’t that heavily message motivated.
Seriously y’all … this is just another stupid and funny Rogan movie. I’m even struggling to write the review because there is not a lot of depth to it. It’s funny. It’s dumb. It’s all I expected. If you’re looking for inappropriate laughs, then be ‘Merican and watch The Interview!