Note to North Korea: Please do not kill me for writing this. That’s the best I can do to keep myself safe. Out of the 3 theaters in my whole state showing The Interview, one of them was located in my city and I was lucky enough to see it on the big screen. It was a little art house theater, downtown with couches, actual food, and a café in the other room. It added a personal touch to my movie experience, one that was not necessary for this movie.
I don’t believe The Interview would suffer from not being seen on the big screen. Most comedies translate well on any sized medium. It is on Netflix, but if you still have the opportunity, you should see in theaters. That way, in 10 years you can say you were one of the few that saw The Interview in a movie theater. It also felt like a small rebellion against North Korean terrorism, which felt good to do.
If you have seen a Seth Rogen or James Franco comedy before, you know what to expect form this movie. My mom told me she wanted to see this, obviously because of the Sony and North Korea controversy. I had to tell her that she didn’t really want to see it. If none of the hacks or threats had happened, it would have never been on her radar. I was right too; it was the typical, crude comedy that we’ve come to expect from those two. They know that too, so they pretty much play parodies of themselves. Franco is a goofball and Rogen is more grounded. Basically Pineapple Express, but instead of pot smoking hippies, they work on TV and are hired to asassinate the real life leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.
Taking this movie as a legitimate threat is ridiculous. That being said, I can understand Un not wanting this movie released, because he is portrayed as complete idiot. Some of the funniest moments come from his scenes though. I won’t give away of those scenes, done by Randall Park who may have been the source of the most laughs. It is a very stupid comedy, but many of the greats like Airplane! and The Naked Gun are too. It continues to push the envelope in terms of how far they can go, and some of it is really bold.
By far, the aspect of this movie that carried it the best was the chemistry between Rogen and Franco. They have an incredible back and forth that just works. We’ve seen them do stuff before and this is some of their best work. Watching the movie, I could see how much fun they were having while filming and that translated great onto the screen. That is why for some time in the middle, it lost its momentum. It focused too much on the CIA story and the build up to the end. There were laughs here and there, but compared to the rest, it was a little boring.
There are also a lot of shots taken against the US in the movie, especially on the media. On the one side you have Franco who wants what people want. The kind of things that aren’t really news, but worthless celebrity gossip. And Rogen wants to be a real news station that reports actual, important news. There are some hilarious moments with celebrity cameos on Franco’s fictional show that demonstrate this. Un also has to deal with his people’s perceptions of him in the media, which plays heavily into the final act, also featuring a Katy Perry song that you will never listen to the same again.
This was not a movie that needed to be made. We’ve seen movies with plots to kill nation’s leaders (Team America and Zoolander) before, so nothing here is brand new territory. But directors Rogen and Evan Goldberg wanted to do their version. I’m glad they did too, because by the end of the movie, the CIA plot to kill Un was totally irrelevant. Their plan literally derailed right away and they had to rely on Rogen and Franco to get the job done some other way. A way so over the top, gratuitously violent, and unbelievable that you give them credit for taking the story so far and being so bold. Most of those risky and controversial scenes payed off too, in my opinion.
Despite all the hype for this movie and heightened awareness, it lived up to my expectations, making it a very enjoyable comedy. Goldberg, and Rogen took risks in this movie that make you think: “Wow, did they really just say that?” It is very well written at times, meandering a little in the middle act, but making up for it with an insane ending. It continually became more and more absurd, keeping you laughing till the end, and then you laugh at yourself later for laughing at it. See it if you love the Rogen/Franco duo and their humor. If not, don’t see it thinking you’ll change your mind about them.