Comedies are, and should always be, judged based on how many laughs they deliver, because that is the whole point. Nothing is more important in a comedic film than making the audience laugh. Luckily for The Interview, this film succeeded in that aspect, delivering laughs at a constant pace throughout the film, and it never seemed to drag on.
Franco was hilarious as a talk show host who is trying to deliver a serious interview with Kim Jong Un, and make the world take him more seriously. Seth Rogan stars as his producer who convinced Franco to get more serious.
Franco’s energy carried the film. He delivered his lines with accuracy and precision, and spit out joke after joke. Not every joke hit, but they rarely do in comedies. None the less, his chemistry with Rogan and interactions with Kim Jong Un and the female CIA agent (played efficiently by Lizzy Caplan) will put a smile on your face and make you burst out laughing. As I am writing this, his lines of dialogue and delivery are popping into my head and making me laugh.
Writing good comedy is all about timing and delivery. The dialogue in this felt natural, a lot of it was probably improvised, and it helped elevate the film into an above average comedy. Every character had a moment to shine, including Kim Jong Un and Lizzy Caplan’s CIA Agent.
This film however was not perfect. It did seem to get bogged down in the middle, which started focusing on a bromance forming between Franco and Un, along with a possible romantic relationship between Rogan and Un’s right hand woman. These scenes were still filled with laughs, but it wasn’t the same as Rogan and Franco interacting with each other.
The story seemed to lose its footing in the middle as well, as it started getting away from the mission and the hilarity that was taking place at the start of the film. Again, the laughs were still there, but the jokes didn’t seem to hit as hard as they had earlier.
One interesting aspect of the film is how it made us sympathize with Kim Jong Un, to an extent, and how the film somehow made Un relatable, at times. His scenes with Franco helped develop his character and even gave us some insight into his motivations.
This film seemed to play with the idea of the media, and what the consumers want to see, at times, but it doesn’t hit you over the head with any messages. The only goal was to deliver laughs around this crazy premise, and in that, this film succeeded. It wasn’t perfect, as it seemed to get carried away with itself in the middle of the film, but everything picked up toward the end, and helped us realize why the scenes in the middle of the film were important. This was a good comedy, bordering on great.