The Interview Review

This time of year is usually dominated by whichever film has the most Oscar buzz, but somehow the most talked about movie of 2014 is one where Seth Rogen shoves a missile up his ass. The Interview has spawned a mass hacking scandal, a terrorist threat and comment from President Obama. Sony even cancelled the release altogether after hackers promised a 9/11 inspired attack, but later decided to make the film available on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and select theaters. Was it all a clever marketing scheme? Is North Korea going to attack us? Does this movie even deserve all of the hype surrounding it? Well, it depends on who you ask.

James Franco stars as Dave Skylark, the host of a popular talk show that thrives on celebrity gossip. Naturally, Seth Rogen plays his best friend and one of the show’s producers, Aaron Rapaport. When Aaron decides he wants to stop covering trashy pop culture stories and try tackling some serious journalism, Skylark comes up with the perfect plan. Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, so why not interview him? Things seem good to go until the CIA turns their harmless trip into an assassination mission. This proves to be difficult when Skylark discovers that Kim is actually pretty rad.

Rogen and Franco’s chemistry is so natural and it’s clear that they’re having a blast in every scene. They’re like a bizarre combination between Abbott & Costello and Cheech & Chong. Rogen is his usual charming self, while Franco is delightfully ridiculous as Dave Skylark. He plays dumb so well that you have to remind yourself that he has taught college courses in real life. I’m not sure how much of this movie was improvised, but it feels like Franco was basically given permission to be a loose cannon. It pays off because these two really know how to bring out the best in each other. Compared to their previous collaborations, this might even be near the top. The pacing is much smoother than Pineapple Express and the insane premise serves as a worthy followup to This Is the End.

The real breakout star has to be Randall Park, who is arguably brilliant as Kim Jong-un. Not only is he hilarious, but he turns this fearsome dictator into a sympathetic character. There are scenes where you actually feel bad for Kim! I didn’t think it was possible, but I even found myself wanting to hang out with the guy. Of course, we do see a not-so-nice side of Kim as well. I doubt he’s going to be up for an Academy Award, but Park definitely rises to the occasion when the script requires him to get angry. It’s probably not the most accurate portrayal of Kim Jong-un, but it fits perfectly in the context of the movie. Diana Bang is also a standout as Sook, one of Kim’s personal assistants and Aaron’s love interest. Her comedic timing is excellent and she has no trouble holding her own alongside Rogen.

Of course, all great comedies have highly quotable dialogue and The Interview is no different. Check any social networking site and you’re sure to find someone proudly declaring “They hate us cause they anus!” This is just one of the many lines that will probably find its way onto collectible mugs and t-shirts in the future. The sight gags are just as strong, partially due to the impressive set pieces that the actors get to play with and the massive battle scene that occurs in the final act. As cool as these things are, they never overshadow the talent or the script.

Obviously, this movie isn’t for everyone. You know what makes you laugh and if that list doesn’t include buttholes or boners, then you might want to steer clear. While there is some political commentary to be had, it’s mostly eclipsed by gross-out gags and toilet humor. Whether or not that’s a bad thing is up for debate, but if you don’t see it, the terrorists win.

9/10

Pros:

Quotable dialogue

Standout performances

Hilarious cameos

Jokes about pee and poo

Cons:

 I laughed so hard that I peed and pooed

I’m immature

 

Wesley Boutilier

Part time writer, full time nerd.

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