Jean-Pau’s rating: 3/5 stars
Bottom Line: Takes a while to get going, but fun when it hits its stride. Worth seeing just for the completely unnecessary controversy it caused, but a comedy that can be viewed multiple times this is not.
I don’t normally do reviews on movies I see in the comfort of my own home, but if ever there were a reason to make an exception, the fooferaw surrounding “The Inteview” is it. For the sake of posterity, since this movie will likely be quickly forgotten, “The Interview” was supposed to be released around Christmas 2014, but hackers broke through Sony’s defenses and stole a whole gob of data including emails where executives insult A-list stars, scripts, complete unreleased movies, etc. and then released the lot to the masses. Those that care about such things got a good chuckle at how vain Hollywood can be. It is widely accepted that North Korea was responsible for the hack, but there is not much actual evidence of that. Then came the bomb threats and threats of general mayhem if the movie was released and Sony cancelled the release. A few art houses here and there still went through with showing the movie, but mostly it went straight to pay-per-view and quickly to Netflix a month later.
Why would anyone be so upset over a movie to even bother going through the trouble of trying to get it shut down? Well, people are stupid, but when your entire raison d’être is to be a living god to millions of North Koreans, I guess I can see getting a little upset when a movie comes out that tells the world that you have to pee and poo and can die. That little stunt has probably quadrupled the number of people who have seen the movie. Oops.
The plot, such as it is, revolves around celebrity news personality Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer, Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen). Aaron is sick of doing celebrity puff pieces and wants to do serious journalism. A piece of serious journalism sort of falls into his lap when he learns that Kim Jong-Un is a big fan of Skylark Tonight and they score the interview of the century with the president of North Korea. When the CIA learns of the interview, they recruit Dave and Aaron to attempt to assassinate the young leader. Hijinks ensues.
The movie itself isn’t good and isn’t bad. It starts out a bit slow but picks up nicely after meeting Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park, who absolutely nails it). Other than that, what you have is your standard Rogan/Franco buddy comedy without much to set it apart from every other film they’ve done together. That said, this is a fun moment-in-time piece. Its relevance to current events makes it a much more worth seeing film than it otherwise would be. See it now because I’m guessing its relevance has a fairly short expiration date.