Movie Reviews

Published on December 27th, 2014 | by Sasha Glenn


The Interview

Thanks to the negative attention that “The Interview” received, it will be viewed by many more people than it would have without the controversy. The film, which was almost never released due to a cyberattack on Sony, is now the most widely accessible of this season.

The comedy follows two average journalists, Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogan) and David Skylark (James Franco), who become pawns in a CIA plot to assassinate the leader of North Korea.

Skylark is an overzealous news anchor who seems to have no shame in what he reports on. He hosts a celebrity talk show, where he discusses the latest gossip. Fitting perfectly into this scenario are hilarious cameo appearances by Eminem and Rob Lowe.

When Skylark discovers his show is one of Kim Jong-un’s (Randall Park) favorites, he is struck with the genius idea to ask for an interview. Amazingly that request is granted, but attracts the attention of the CIA. Once the two guys are plunged into the outrageous mission, the film carries a fast pace through to the end.

Rogan, who codirected the film with Evan Goldberg, obviously did some real research. Some details are actually based on real world observations.

North Korea is a place shrouded in mystery and little information about the odd dictatorship has surfaced in the outside world. However, there are multiple documentaries by Vice which detail very regimented and monitored trips journalist have taken inside the isolated country.

Elements appearing in the film which are similar to actual documented information about North Korea include: the placement of fake stores with fake food, the discussion of famine and labor camps, and the only pictures allowed on any wall being that of the “supreme leader” or those leaders before him.

Regardless of its very serious political undertones, the film can hardly be taken seriously.

Little touches keep the movie silly and lighthearted. There are quite a few inside jokes that develop throughout the story, cleverly pulling the audience in and making them laugh.

The use of the song “Firework” by Katy Perry is one example. It is established as Kim Jong-un’s favorite song, comedically revealing his “softer” side. It also happens to be Skylark’s favorite song, which creates a common ground between the two characters as they begin to form their own bromance. The song works its way into the plot and reappears at the most mismatched moments, making them that much more absurd.

In general, the execution of the plot and mannerisms of the characters stand out as even cheesier than the past work of Rogan and Franco. The extremely animated facial expressions of Franco in his role as the cocky and lovably stupid reporter, look almost cartoon like. Sex jokes and awkward moments abound. People who do not enjoy that type of comedy will not find much value in this film.

Despite the heavy political attention surrounding “The Interview,” it is one of the most ridiculous comedies to hit theaters. The film has all of the typical features of a Rogan – Franco comedy. It’s filled with over the top raunchy humor, graphic violence, and of course plenty of “bromance.” However this time, it is also a highly entertaining political satire.

I give “The Interview” 3.5 out of 5 stars for quality, and 5 out of 5 stars for becoming an outrageous international controversy.

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