Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Interview: Film Review

The Interview: Film Review


Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"

Peter Finch in the movie Network and the hackers who threw Sony into disarray have a lot in common in The Interview, which has been the target of either a very smartly chaotic marketing plan or the embodiment of all that is evil in the cinema.

However, with all manner of pre-publicity and talk threatening the launch of The Interview, it's certainly gathered some momentum, with shades of the rather un-PC Team America and South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut thrown in for good measure.

James Franco once again over-acts as the sharp-suited, false-smiling Dave Skylark, the presenter of a news talk show that deals more in tittle tattle than hard news (witness Eminem coming out on the show and Rob Lowe revealing he wears a wig in obligatory self-deprecating cameos) but scores big in the ratings.

However, his behind-the-scenes guy Aaron Rappaport (Seth Rogen in usual laid-back stoner form) is rattled when at a celebration for 1,000 episodes, another news show producer rails at him for the cheap and tawdry nature of his show.

But the manchild boys are thrust into the limelight when they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is a fan of the show and has granted them an interview. As they prep to head to Pyongyang, the CIA (lead by a largely sidelined Lizzy Caplan) demands they kill Jong-Un for the good of the world....

The Interview is as scabrous, puerile and as scatalogical as you'd expect from the team who brought you Pineapple Express.

Ineptitude and goofiness, as well as all things anal consume the uneven script as Franco and Rogen continue their on-screen bromance to largely comic effect. Mixing in racism and a sly piece of satire on the state of the Buzzfeed and continuing celeb obsession of our culture, The Interview works as a piece of comedy that's designed to entertain, occasionally offend and nothing else.

Franco's over-acting initially grates, but proves to be the perfect antidote to the situation in Pyongyang as the star-struck Skylark falls under the spell of Randall Park's apparently insecure, margherita loving, Katy Perry Firework adoring, B-balling Jong-Un (sound familiar, Dennis Rodman?); his resistance to carry out the assassination plays nicely against Rogen's uptight caught-in-the-headlights stooge and gives the comedy the broadness and low-hanging fruit it panders to. Their continued eminent likeability helps you through the odd moment that feels crass and base as this frat-based relationship head abroad.


Caplan's horrendously sidelined in a film that throws out the line "This Is 2014, women are smart now", so perhaps that's a blessing; and Park deserves some credit as the Supreme Leader, channeling moments of Dr Evil-like insecurity, general madness and adding more of a dimension to a character that could have just been a broad parody. Even America and their domestic policy comes under scrutiny, so the writers have ensured that it's not just North Korea who's in the firing line.

With a third act that goes for as much violence and a slow-mo helicopter destruction shot that's clearly going to upset the North Korean leader and nation, The Interview has nowhere to go but up its own butt (an analogy I expect those involved in the film will delightfully relish) and into familiar OTT action territory.

And yet, it's unshakably funny, ribald and pointless to rail against The Interview.

Rogen, Franco and Goldberg have certainly got some cinematic balls to take this on given the furore that Sony's currently enduring; but they've got some even bigger balls to have produced something that manages to avoid the majority of its excesses and turn them into something that seems tame in comparison to outrage that's been levelled at it.

Rating:




27 comments:

  1. Awful, just awful. One star.

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  2. Infantile and pathetic. 0 stars.

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  3. Well, I'll never come to your site for reviews again, that's for sure.

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    1. ikr? 1,5 stars is the most this movie should have and i'm being generous

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  4. A lost of time. What a infantile film for flat minds.

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  5. just plain classic hollywood crap comedy. 99% hype.

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  6. Crap. Nothing else to say....

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  7. the worst movie what seeing, not action, and not comedy ...simply stupid movie !!!!

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  8. Good movie. 5/5

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  9. Thanks all for yr comments: as you can see this film sure is divisive

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    1. please tell me you were joking when you gave it 4,5 ? are you insane?

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    2. That movie was very funny. I was not expecting it to be- not a Seth Rogen fan, but I laughed my ass off. I usually do not like Franco either, but I have to say he was great in this. A lot of Balls to do this movie- but hilarious. That whole Katie Perry shtick was classic. Great review and very accurate.

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    3. I'm confused. It seems all the 1 or 2 star replies are all in Engrish. Poor punctuation, sentence structure etc. I'd say NK has a task force for trashing this movie on every site and source they can. I'm sure there are plenty of "legitimate" haters that thoroughly hated this movie. But their reviews, replies and commentary are those of four year olds and/or those whose English is second or third tier. I doubt many four y/o's are watching this movie in theatres or torrenting off Demonoid, Kickass, etc. Case in point; see it for yourself. If you don't like slapstick comedy with some pseudo-satire thrown in, its not for you. If you're North Korean and are trying to fool everyone with you're poor penmanship commentary, quit please.

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  10. Is Hollywood so creatively bankrupt that this is the best story they can come up with for a big-budget holiday blockbuster comedy? A CIA plot to assassinate a foreign head of state? Nothing but smarta**, slapstick. Painfully un-funny and in poor taste. This would have been a dismal flop if not for the North Korean hack...Wait a minute...Are we sure Sony didn't fake the hack and the threats?

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  11. overall I'd give it a 7/10. They could have done a lot more w the storyline but lets be real guys. this is a franco and rogen movie, it's so them. If you don't like their style of movies why even bother watching???? I thought it was hilarious myself, better than This Is The End. Guys its a Movie, loosen up. Totally harmless. And who doesn't love James Franco in a suit?

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  12. At most I could give it a 5/10. You just made a fool out of yourself giving that review...

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  13. I have seen this Movie only because of the Sony Hack Stories in the newspaper and Kim got angry about the story in this movie.
    So well what i can say, the story is poor and too stupid to be funny. I had never a single laugh in this movie. I can not understand how people can give more than 5/10 points for that bullshit....I would just give a 4/10

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  14. what a weak pathetic attempt on relevance, bottom line it had none & have only viewed the trailer, not going to even waste any data usage d/l it - uHmm.. minus 5stars, advice to creators etc.. don't go holidaying anywhere remotely near Nth Korea, not even neighbouring countries cheers Jack.

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  15. Surprised Obama hung his hat on this trashy movie. It had its moments, but overall 1/10.

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  16. I saw it - expecting nothing funny at all. I usually do not like Seth Rogen movies. But I got to tell you, I laughed my ass off. It was very freaking funny, anyone telling you otherwise is not telling the truth. Hilarious movie making. Very ballsy but undeniably funny.

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  18. Well, based on the fact that English is not my first language (although I am able to speak it on a near-native level), I noticed the _simple_ kind of English language in the movie. No, I am not hinting at the profanity in any way. "Simple" is to say: 9 out of 10 dialogs on a level that even Jerry Springer fans can understand. Perhaps it was actually because of trying to be kind to that part of the audience said "not to be the brightest crayons in the box."
    But even in a Wesley Snipes or Samuel L. Jackson action flick, language would have been a lot wittier.
    But this was just so ... erm ... bland.

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  19. Good review. Not sure why so many people are ripping on this hilarious film. It was everything I expected with tons of quotes I'll be saying. The was a lot of predictability, but in places where it belonged. Without giving away any spoilers, there was actually some intelligent writing worthy of another viewing. Unlike most of these posters I give it 8/10. "Haters gonna hate... And ain'ters gonna ain't."

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  20. Very good film. I suspect that the hype got a more serious crowd to view it. They were disappointed it was not a more serious drama. Still it makes you think. Starts a conversation. That is the best part.

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