By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A- (3 stars)
Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express, This is the End, Neighbors), James Franco (Spider-Man trilogy, 127 Hours, Oz: The Great and Powerful), and co-director, Evan Goldberg join forces once more in the comedic yet extremely controversial film known as The Interview. Like some of their previous films like Pineapple Express and This is the End, The Interview is exaggerated with its humor that’s both crazy and funny at the same time, and this time they’re mocking North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
But whether you’re a fan of Seth Rogen, James Franco, or Evan Goldberg’s previous work or not, I’m sure you know about the controversy regarding the film, North Korea threatening America with war over the movie’s concept, the infamous Sony Pictures studio hacking, and other catastrophic events that caused Sony to pull the film from being released.
Honestly when I heard Sony was pulling the plug on the movie, I personally was very angry about it, explosive and vulgar rants, posting videos of me giving the finger and telling North Korea to “Fuck off!” and posting angry comments on Facebook. Thankfully just in time for Christmas, I read some wonderful news, Sony decided to give the film a limited release in theaters on Christmas Day, and fortunately I had a chance to see the movie on the big screen.
And, I can see why there was a lot of controversy regarding this film; I can’t recommend this movie to everyone. The film is filled with crude and vulgar humor, some violent moments, and a bit of racist humor, but if you love Seth Rogen and James Franco, you’ll probably be laughing your ass off at this movie.
James and Seth star as television duo, David Skylark and Aaron Rapoport who run a popular talk show called Skylark Tonight. They have interviewed many well-known celebrities like Eminem, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Stone, and Miley Cyrus over the years and have gotten a ton of hits on the show.
That is until they discover a game changer for their show, when they realize North Korean dictator; Kim Jong Un (Randall Park-Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, Sex Tape) is a big fan of the Skylark Tonight show. So David and Aaron decide to travel to North Korea to get the interview of a lifetime.
Eventually the CIA knocks on David and Aaron’s front door, asking for their assistance in taking Kim Jong Un out…but not for drinks, which leads to all sorts of offensive hilarity.
Overall, The Interview is definitely the most ambitious film of the holiday season, especially after all the controversy the film got during its release. But as a movie watcher and critic, I can safely say that I thought it was very funny, especially the way Kim Jong Un is depicted. At first you think he’s like the coolest guy you’ve ever met, but then he slowly becomes the crazy madman we all know about.
What I really liked about the concept was that Seth Rogen and James Franco are not professional CIA agents; their characters are television stars. This could have easily become a comedy about Seth and James portraying CIA agents assassinating Kim Jong Un, but the idea of having them as TV stars who don’t know anything about assassinating people is very clever and leads to a lot of funny moments.
I didn’t think it was as funny as This is the End, but it’s very close and probably became my second favorite Seth Rogen comedy, sorry Pineapple Express, nothing personal. Like This is the End, the film’s humor is zany, over the top raunchy, and exaggerated, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Like Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s 2004 comedy, Team America: World Police, The Interview is an offensively hysterical satire of war and media that has to be seen to believe. It’s a shame the film only got a limited theatrical release but thankfully the film is available online, so there should be no excuse not to see it, if you’re avoiding this comedy, you’re letting the terrorists win and that’s just wrong, man.