The Interview

The Interview photo starrating-1star.jpgBy now we’ve heard the story. Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked on November 24, 2014.   The hackers called themselves the “Guardians of Peace” A lot of sensitive data pertaining to studio employees and their families was released. But what got the most attention was the demanded cancellation of the release of this film The Interview, a political “comedy” regarding a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Although North Korea has denied any responsibility, the FBI has claimed otherwise, Meanwhile independent cybersecurity experts have cast credible doubt on North Korea’s involvement. They contend rather that the hack was an inside job by disgruntled fired SONY employees.

Now I’m certainly not qualified to weigh in on who’s responsible. However I will submit as evidence the actual movie. It’s a sloppily directed, misguided mess. The picture has as much trenchant political satire as The Three Stooges but without the sophisticated urbane wit that characterizes one of their flicks. The scattershot script is just a succession of jokes pitched at the lowest form of toilet humor. In other words The Interview is more of an attack on the fabric of good taste than a threat to the North Korean regime.

Sample dialogue:

Dave Skylark: Do you pee and poo?
Kim Jong-un: You’ve heard the stories, huh? Yes, I pee and poo.
Dave Skylark: So you have a butt—-.
Kim Jong-un: I’ve got a butt—- and it’s working overtime.

The Interview is nothing more than a hodgepodge of random gags loosely strung together. The story concerns Dave Skylark (James Franco) a bumbling idiot that hosts a TV talk show. With the help of his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) he lands a meeting with the dictator of North Korea. It starts off promisingly enough. A rosy cheeked schoolgirl with a beatific face lovingly sings a little ditty. Her Korean is translated in subtitled lyrics that pleads “Die America, die! Oh please won’t you die? It would fill my tiny heart with joy!“ The lyrics express extremist attitudes, but the sweetly sung delivery from the face of innocence does induce laughter. After that, it’s all downhill with a tiresome preoccupation with potty-mouth humor. The script is staggeringly bad. Forget a send-up of the political situation. The writing is mainly dumbed-down raunch about body parts. Other lines are so stupid they barely register as jokes. Case in point: An argument between buddies Dave and Aaron has Dave repeating the phrase “They hate us ’cause they ain’t us” so many times I thought the projector was broken. It also doesn’t help that the actor playing Kim Jong-un looks absolutely nothing like him. He’s male and Asian, but that’s it. Actor Randall Park affects an accent so awful it borders on a racist stereotype. The character also bangs lots of women, drinks margaritas and listens to Katy Perry music.

I should think North Korea would champion this movie because it wallows in the offensiveness to which America’s critics accuse us. If The Interview is a threat to anything, it’s to the definition of cinema as an art form.

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16 Responses to “The Interview”

  1. Even the worst of anything has utility. It can serve as a horrible example. At least you won’t feel compelled to watch this one ever again.

  2. Yeah. This was pretty awful. I chuckled a few times, and I do like James Franco, but the writing was very juvenile. Only saw this because of the short lived hype. 1 1/2 stars.

  3. GaryLE828 Says:

    I was glad when this got pulled simply b/c it looked dumb. lol. In fact, I wish all dumb studio films would get pulled last minute from theaters. lol. Fill the theaters up with some of the indies that only get limited releases – or bring some of those quality films that go straight to VOD to theaters in place of films like this.

    So, if I remember correctly, you did like “The Neighbors”, didn’t you? I thought that was pretty funny. I think you were the one who influenced me to go see it, if I remember correctly (that was a while ago).

  4. Well I suppose I shouldn’t be too guilt-ridden for not having watched this yet, even though it’s $6 on YouTube. In your estimation, is it not even worth that?

    • If The Interview still sounds funny even after having read my review, then I say, check it out.

      • I do like Franco, and prob more than I ought to, so when I do I’ll come back through and passive-agggressively suggest you up the score to. . .eh, 2 stars! 😉 (I doubt I’ll disagree though, this didn’t look good from the outset)

  5. It looks absolutely idiotic. For that reason I have no interest in seeing it. I’m so tired of these run-of-the-mill raunchy comedies.

  6. It was a funny movie, but nothing really more. Although it probably could have been so much more had they decided to ease up on the dick jokes just a bit. Good review Mark.

  7. Nice one Mark. I expected as much from this film. I was going to check it out just for the controversy but i dont think I’ll bother now.

  8. Not surprised at all to hear this film is a mess. I haven’t exactly been rushing to see it because I heard so many bad things and it just seemed like it would be terrible. I think you make an interesting point about how North Korea should champion this movie for its offensiveness and I love your closing line, “If The Interview is a threat to anything, it’s to the definition of cinema as an art form.”

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