ByJames M. Tate, writer at Creators.co
Top Shark Cinema Writer at CultFilmFreaks.com and Now a Movie Pilot Remora...
James M. Tate

A combination of SPIES LIKE US, as two inept goofballs are sent overseas on a dangerous government mission, with the second half of Woody Allen’s LOVE AND DEATH dealing with the seemingly impossible task to assassinate an infamous tyrant, THE INTERVIEW sums up two completely opposite yet spontaneously connected buddies, James Franco’s Dave Skylark and Seth Rogen’s Aaron Rapaport, in one particular scene halfway through: when an observing Franco remarks that a tiger might be wearing night vision goggles while Rogen is trying to avoid being killed by the ferocious creature, one guy tells the jokes while the other takes the risks – but not entirely...

Franco’s Dave is the host of a popular entertainment show and Rogen's Aaron is his producer. Dave is perfectly content with celebrity gossip while Aaron yearns for something better, deeper, and important… So when they get a job from the C.I.A. to “take out” North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, during a scripted interview on his own soil, there’s a fair amount of quick-witted wordplay until the mission is at hand.

When THE INTERVIEW shifts from a decent buddy comedy to an ambitious (and as it turns out, risky) attempt at political satire with suspenseful hijinx thrown in, we lose touch of Rogen’s grounding dry wit, a whole lot funnier than Franco’s dementedly goofy airhead persona, highlighted during an entire day's bonding with Jong-un, initially shown in a weak and pathetic if sympathetic light: he’s a spoiled son with a lot to take on, a metrosexual adoration for Katy Perry, and just wants to be understood: until his true colors are revealed…

At which point, the final act/closure is so overlong and ponderous, you’ll forget all about the two main stars and that they’re supposed to be funny, as a team.

By James M. Tate, www.cultfilmfreaks.com

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