While the recent Sony hacking scandal sheds a light of free promotion on the new comedy The Interview, it's easy to get caught up in the drama between movie stars and studio executives rather than if Sony's new movie is actually worth watching. With the abundance of comedies in theaters today is plentiful (Dumb and Dumber To and Horrible Bosses 2), The Interview stands out as an original movie and one that's willing to offend, not just North Koreans, but also the U.S. Government and today's media landscape. Is The Interview worth watching? Yes, but only if you have a thick skin and willing to laugh until it hurts.
The Interview follows Dave Skylark, played by James Franco, and his producer Aaron Rapoport, played by Seth Rogen. The pair are behind the highest rated tabloid celebrity show on television today. Skylark has a knack for getting celebrities to open up about their lives, while Rapoport can easily make the TV show go smoothly. From the early goings of the movie, The Interview is hilarious as it, not only lampoons celebrities such as Eminem and Rob Low, but also the film's stars James Franco and Seth Rogen. They are definitely not afraid to be the butt of jokes throughout the whole movie.
When Aaron feels that his career isn't as prestigious as his counterparts, he jumps at the chance to set up an interview with one of the world's most famous villains Kim Jong-Un, playedby wonderfully by Randall Park, the dictator of North Korea. Once Skylark is on board with the highly sought-after interview, the film starts to develop when the C.I.A. tasks Dave and Aaron to assassinate the dictator for the U.S. Government.
The Interview is very well made and holds up to any comedy that's out in theaters today, but it's a movie that you shouldn't watch if you're easily offended. No group is safe in The Interview and that's exactly how comedy should work. Does this movie make fun of Asians? Yes! Is this movie sexist? Yes! Is this movie anti-American? At times. It's part of the reason why The Interview is a joy to watch. It's the type of movie where you're not quite sure what's going to happen next.
While the film fits into a very conventional structure, it plays on expectations with a lot of glee and laughs. Seth Rogen and his directing partner Evan Goldberg are quickly becoming the height of American comedy after two films. After the success of This Is The End, The Interview takes on important political issues with a surprising point-of-view. What This Is the End did with the Biblical Rapture, The Interview takes on relations between the United States and North Korea. The film is funny, irrelevant, and, at times, plays on the sheer stupidity of its two main characters.
There are two standouts in The Interview; Rogen & Goldberg's ability to put together a thrilling and well made action sequence, which was a surprise to me, and the performance of the very wonderful Randall Park, who play Kim Jong-Un. Let's first talk about the film's direction. Everything comes together so well in The Interview that adds to the overall excitement of the film. Its climax is one of note and features a bizarre action sequence that is full of blood and bullets, as well as well placed laughs - all to the tune of a very recognizable pop song.
Randall Park, who will be featured in the new TV sitcom Fresh Off the Boat early next year, is a joy to watch on the big screen. When his Kim Jong-Un is introduced in the movie, his presence is not menacing, but rather charming and adorable. Smartly, the audience has to fall in love with this character a little bit for the film's overall plan and direction to work. Park is very effective as a docile and cute dictator, so James Franco's Dave Skylark character can easily be manipulated. Of course, when Park's demeanor shifts into something more evil, everything comes together in the film's explosive climax.
The Interview is one of the best comedies of year. It's painfully hilarious with a smart wit and point-of-view about it. Seth Rogen and James Franco continue to be a comedic dynamic duo, ever since their days together during the late 90s on Freak and Geeks. While the comedy can feel long in the tooth at times, it doesn't wear out its welcome with one-note jokes and overly broad performances. The Interview is a treat to watch and a good alternative to winter blockbusters and prestigious dramas in theaters today.