Monday, January 5, 2015

Movie Review: "The Interview" (2014)

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Movie"The Interview"
Director: Seth Rogen
Year: 2014
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

Dave Skylark (James Franco) hosts a celebrity gossip show on television full of fluff and your typical tabloid fodder. The show's producer of 10 years, Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), is starting to feel that the content they produce is meaningless, and though their show is popular, he wants to change the show's format and start to do more important pieces. Dave finds out that the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) is a huge fan of the show. Aaron reaches out to Kim Jong Un's people, who eventually accept an interview with Dave, which will be live broadcast all over the world, so long as Dave plays by the rules. Before they leave for North Korea, they are approached by CIA agents Botwin (Reese Alexander) and Lacey (Lizzy Caplan), who ask the duo to "take out" President Kim for them.

Damn you, Seth Rogen and James Franco, we successfully scared a big portion of the moviemaking public into not releasing your film in theaters! #MURICA

For as much hubbub as "The Interview" caused, after watching it and then thinking back on it in the grand scheme of world politics, the entire scandal involving this film makes us shake our damn heads. I mean, Seth Rogen and James Franco seriously almost caused major political problems for the world. Whether or not the not-so-kind-and-gentle Korea to the north has the means or the wherewithal to do anything to the United States is neither here nor there, and it's also not for us to speculate about on this website. We're only here to review this movie for what it is: a trashy, raunchy comedy that goes balls-to-the-wall and toe-to-toe with Kim Jong Un in a battle for the ages. Ripe with everything you'd foresee in a Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy: poo jokes, dick jokes, naked ladies, drugs and explosions. "The Interview" is not the funniest comedy we have seen this year, but it's still pretty damn fantastic.

It is hard to believe that there are really people out there that would be as stupid as the character of Dave Skylark. Dave seems to be a barely functioning adult, not fully self-aware, and Aaron is more than just a producer to him, he also seems to serve as Dave's nanny. Dave's stupidity is meant to garner laughs, and trust us, it does. There are some funny interactions between Dave and Kim Jong Un. They are able to understand one another because of their mutual love for Katy Perry and frivolous, meaningless materialistic items like huge tanks, basketball courts and flashy cars. They also both have daddy issues, which makes Dave more understanding towards Kim and why he acts the way he acts: like a raving, murderous lunatic. The film benefits a lot from a strong ending, and once the interview actually starts taking place, the rest of the movie is pretty bitchin'. This ending elevates the film as a whole, but that doesn't mean the rest of it isn't absolutely insane and riotous. In a way, it's the same thing Rogen and Franco have always done, but they have found a weird way to balance their smutty brand of humor with a topical and important political news story in only a way that a comedy could. The satirical nature of this movie is not so satirical once you realize that, though a character in a film, President Kim really is a raving lunatic madman with a passion for starving his country, flashy cars and controlling and murdering his people. The deep political message everyone was searching for, overall, isn't fully there, but Skylark and President Kim do have a moment of point-counterpoint, shedding some light on issues that exist in both North Korea and the United States that need to be discussed outside of a comedic setting.

The controversy will only make the people who had no interest in this movie want to watch it all the more, so in that aspect, if North Korea was indeed behind the Sony hack, they didn't do a very good job in dissuading people to watch this film.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 52%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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