Friday 19 June 2015

The Interview

It's hard to review this film. I won't bore you with all the details as I'm sure you've had it up to your eyes with hearing about it, but you remember whole hoopla surrounding The Interview, right? After North Korea allegedly hacked Sony's emails and started posting them online, Sony responded by pulling the film from a worldwide release. The film did ultimately get a very limited release, which led to the film only recouping 11 million of its 44 million budget. Leading up to its release, the leaked emails, Sony's decision to pull the film and its subsequent small release, The Interview has gained an almost forbidden fruit quality to it. However, all that bullshit aside, is it actually, you know, good? Read on.

Directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg and out now on Blu-Ray and DVD comes The Interview, a film that, beyond all the build up, anticipation and declarations of possible nuclear war, is just OK. The Interview stars Seth Rogan and James Franco, a duo I've never really liked that much. Aside from This is the End I've just never found them funny, as between Rogans typical shouty stoned type of character and Franco's funny-guy-who-always-smiles attitude, I just don't really get them. Rogan and Franco star as Aaron Rapoport and Dave Skylark respectively. Skylark hosts Skylark Tonight, a hugely popular celebrity talk show across America. With his over-the-top personality and flamboyant attitude, he's known for getting the goods from celebrities, which happens pretty early on into The Interview when he manages to get Eminem into effectively outing himself as gay on live TV. Rapoport is Skylarks friend/producer, and in the wake of the infamous Eminem interview they, in the hopes of putting together the biggest interview ever, reach out to Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea. However, though Kim Jong-un accepts their request (it turns out he's a massive fan of Skylark himself), the CIA comes to Skylark and Rapoport with a proposition; they want the interview with Kim Jong-un to be a smokescreen for his assassination, an assassination that will be carried out by Skylark and Rapoport themselves.

As you all know, North Korea is a hugely secretive country. So by taking on the mission of killing Kim Jong-un, a dude his people genuinely (like, really) believe is a god, it's not the easiest thing in the world. However, though they constantly have guns pointed at them, are herded around like cattle from room to room and are always under the watchful eye of North Korean guards, it seems like the easiest part of the plan is actually getting to know Kim Jong-un himself. Played by Randall Park, the portrayal of Kim Jong-un here is genuinely hilarious, as he's funny, loud, over-the-top and almost huggable in how nice and down-to-earth he is. From chilling with Skylark by the pool, openly talking and crying about his internal conflict with trying to live up to his fathers legacy, to both of them blowing shit up in a tank, on the surface he seems like a pretty great dude. This budding friendship derails the assassination attempt somewhat, and even throws Skylarks and Rapoports relationship into disarray too.

The Interview has its moments of greatness through. Almost everything between Franco and Park is superb, and their friendship is actually kind of nice to see unfold. Of course, I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Kim Jong-un isn't really nice guy here, and once the facade of their friendship falls by the waste-side, the film doesn't have much going for it. Franco and Rogan are just alright as a leading duo, but if you've seen Pineapple Express, This is the End or anything the pair have ever been in, you pretty much know what to expect here- boner jokes, dick jokes, weed jokes, Rogan putting a missile up his ass... you get the idea.

Ultimately The Interview doesn't really deserve all the attention it got in the press. I just went into it looking for a few laughs. I belly laughed a small few times but found myself checking my phone by the films last drawn out act. It's not a terrible comedy by any means, but it's certainly not anything beyond mediocre. Watch it for Randall Park alone, as everything else throughout The Interview just isn't that great.

The Interview wasn't worth near-nuclear war and gets 2/5.


Denis Murphy

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