Review of: The Interview
It is not often that I am in a theater where the audience is laughing constantly at a movie. Watching The Interview was one of those cases tonight. Sure, part of the laughing and the applause as the end was because of we actually got to see a move that the government of North Korea and its Supreme Leader Kim Jong-um did not want us to see. There was a release of tension from defying a terrorist state. It felt like a small victory. But the movie was also very funny.
In The Interview we have Dave Skylark, a pop culture panderer, who has his own interview show. And we have Dave’s producer and best friend Aaron Rapaport. Aaron knows that Dave is a dim bulb and wants to do more serious news. James Franco is pitch-perfect as the self-absorbed, ignorant Dave. His performance is an outrageous parody of worst of our current crop of infotainment “journalists”. This is quickly shown early in the movie with a hilarious interview Dave does with the rapper Eminen. And Seth Rogen, as always, plays off of Franco’s outrageousness with the right touch of realty. His character Aaron stands in for us, because he is the one calling out Dave on everything we would if we could.
Because of the Sony hacking attacks and threats surrounding this movie, everyone probably already knows the premise behind this film. In this film, Kim Jong-um is such a fan of Dave’s show, Skylark Tonight, that Dave and Aaron are invited to North Korea to do an interview with Kim. This is the opportunity of both Dave’s and Aaron’s dreams.
But, they quickly find out that it really is just a propaganda ploy to by Kim. And because North Korea has just developed (in this film) a nuclear rocket that can reach the United States, the CIA, in the form of sexy Agent Lacey, wants Dave and Aaron to kill Kim.
As expected this quickly becomes a comedy of errors. How can an idiot interviewer and a barely competent producer be spies and assassins? On top of this, because Kim is a master manipulator, he quickly makes the dim Dave his BFF. Without giving away any spoilers, you can easily guess that Dave and Aaron do not exactly do what is expected of them.
The movie script is ripe with all of the baser humor you expect from Set Rogen (co-writer with Dan Sterling and Evan Goldburg), but they parody more serious subjects as well. For example when someone points out that the US tends to try violence too often to solve problems: Sook: How many times can America make the same mistake? Dave: As many times as it takes.”
So, please go see this movie. See it because it sends a message of independence to terrorists. See it because you will laugh out loud. But more importantly, see this movie because it answers a serious question. This question could be, is it right for one country to plot the demise of another country’s bat-shit crazy leader? But that is not the deepest question this movie asks. The really important question this movie asks is: can Katy Perry change the fate of a world balanced on the precipice of nuclear war?