If you haven’t heard of The Interview – you either live in North Korea or you don’t use the internet -either way, the chances are that you aren’t reading this – so, never mind.
Just in case you fall into some third category – here it is in a nutshell. Seth Rogen and James Franco made a farce film about a pulp entertainment magazine show which lands an interview with Kim Jong Un, the real life North Korean dictator. The CIA enlists them to kill him. Things go awry and gay jokes and anus jokes and sodomy jokes ensue. The film was made through Sony Pictures and as a result – Sony was hacked by real life North Korean hackers who stole tons of valuable data and threatened to blow up any theaters that showed the film because of the portrayal of Kim Jong Un in the film. As a result, major film chains refused to let the movie open on Christmas day and President Obama and many others said that Sony should not bow to the will of dictators and terrorists and so the film was released on Youtube and other sources online and screened in thousands of small theaters nationwide. With all the free press – a great many people who would not have seen this film probably watched it and many who would have watched it probably did not. And that’s the background on this. I watched it on YouTube which cost me $5.99 and robbed me of the chance to see a bunch of gray hairs being offended as Seth Rogen shoved a giant silver phallus in his rectum. More spoilers will follow so if that isn’t something you want to see – dont read on.
The only thing really political about this film was the real life drama that surrounded it’s release. Mostly it’s just a bunch of fart, shit, gay, penis jokes disguised as a buddy film. If you are looking for substance – you won’t find it. If you are looking for intellectual satire, you won’t find it. If you are looking for plot – you better look elsewhere. If you are looking for smart, edgy, funny, or thought provoking – it’s not there. If you are looking for Franco to hint at being gay, Eminem to come out of the closet, or Rogen to shove a bloody silver phallus up his anus – this is your film. There was some nudity, but none of it worthwhile – though the Korean party girls in bikinis were a momentary treat. The jokes didn’t really work in almost every case.
The violence was needless and way over the top with blood spattering worthy of a zombie flick but without the enjoyment of watching a zombie bite the dust.
The only good part about this movie was actor Randall Park’s portrayal of Kim Jong Un. Park brings multiple dimensions to a character that the world knows little to nothing about – a character that is real! A person who controls the fate of an entire nation and has his finger on a nuclear button. Park’s portrayal was sympathetic at times, crazy spoiled at times, and downright scary at times. This, if anything, is the value of the film and the reason why the film struck a nerve with North Korea. I’d like to see Park in a biopic about Kim Jong Un. A serious film. But that wasn’t what this was.
Ultimately, if the North Koreans had succeeded in suppressing this film – it probably would have been doing a favor to the people who ultimately went to theaters to see it. I saw some of them walking out of a Christmas Day screening and frankly, none of them looked like they were happy about paying ticket prices to see this crap.