Movie review by Karl Nualla
Starring Arec Barwin... oops wrong movie. The Interview
is 2014’s most controversial movie. Starring James Franco and Seth Rogen and rejoined by the crew that made This is the end
, the movie is about the exploits of fictional showbiz talkshow host Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) as they interview (and try to assassinate) North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Originally refused by major theatre chains in the U.S. for general screening, Sony had to pull the film out only to be released online and in a handful of independent theatres later. North Korea originally threatened violent action upon its release but has so far been inactive, save for a public condemnation or two.
The plot is straightforward and uncomplicated. The trailer alone reveals the story and you’re really just going to watch the movie to find out how it ends. The movie starts off as Skylark interviews Eminem, who admits to being gay (in the film only!), and a couple of other celebrities. His producer Rapoport, while successful in handling the show, grows frustrated at the quality of their interviews. They soon find an opening to start getting more credible scoops when they find out that North Korea’s Kin Jong Un is a big fan of their show. They arrange an interview with him for the show, but not before the CIA intervenes and convinces the duo to assassinate Kim in the process. This is why the film courts such controversy, as it depicts a currently living dictator in a less than favourable light and in unsavoury circumstances. This is not the first time this has happened, however. Not too long ago, the creators of South Park made Team America: World Police,
a supermarionation movie that grilled everyone in the whole political spectrum, with Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il, as the antagonist.
As expected from a Rogen/Franco comedy, it’s mostly stoner and bromance jokes. Now you’d imagine this getting a bit old and worn out at this point, but somehow they can still manage to make their lines sound fresh and funny everytime. I was laughing all throughout the movie. This needs no further analyzing, the movie is definitely funny. One thing I found particularly amusing is how James Franco is visibly and deliberately ham acting the whole time while the other actors are taking their parts a bit more seriously. He was definitely having fun while shooting. I’d imagine this might come out a bit annoying to some people though. Fortunately, we have Rogen’s more serious acting to balance out Franco. However, there are certain parts in the movie where the comedy was a tad too forced and uncomfortably delivered, as if they were trying to go all out and hold back at the same time. This is something Team America
excels at. It has absolute confidence in its script and it has no qualms skewering anyone that might get hit. The delivery is very straightforward, if a tad too crude, but you know the Southpark boys won’t care. And this is why between these two often compared films, Team America
still comes out on top.
As a comedy movie, The Interview
is absolutely funny and enjoyable, but as political satire, it still treads like an amateur. This doesn’t take away too much from the movie though. I will still highly recommend this film for huge laughs and uncomfortable fun, because honestly, we’re having fun at the expense of some living dictator and I’m completely fine with that.
I give this movie 3 ½ stars out of 5.
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