There is a lot to be said about The Interview, obviously. Given that it nearly caused World World III (a slight exaggeration), the hype surrounding the latest creation from the Evan Goldberg-Seth Rogen partnership was of epic proportions. So, was the film that pi**ed off the North Koreans so much worth all the fuss? Well this misogynistic, sex-fuelled romp, is neither clever nor funny enough to call itself a successful attempt at political satire, but, in a soul-destroying kind of way, it is very much watchable, and begrudgingly enjoyable.
The controversial flick revolves around the attempted assassination of North Korean supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. Host of TV show ‘Skylark Tonight’, Dave Skylark (James Franco), and his producer/best bud, Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), gain an interview with the dictator (played by Bad Neighbours’ Randall Park) after discovering he is a big fan of their show. Given this once in a lifetime access to one of the most secretive men (and nations) on the planet, the CIA, led by Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) – with the help of the pair – hatch a plan to kill Jong-un and put a stop to his reign of suppression and intimidation. Suffice to say, it does not go to plan.
The buddy partnership of Rogen and Franco is well established, and in short, sharp bursts can be an occasionally effective comedic pairing. The standard practice of a Goldberg/Rogen production is drug-related, potty-mouthed antics, and The Interview, despite a surprising lack of weed references, does not disappoint on the dumbed-down comedy front. James Franco’s tiresome obnoxious, loud-mouthed persona which appears to be his ‘thing’ when it comes to comedic roles, is the most annoying – and least funniest – aspect of the entire debacle. It is like a toddler spit-balling gibberish for 100 minutes in the hope they might say something coherent which, every so often, he just about manages to do. There are one or two memorable moments amongst the rubbish which manage to pull the movie above the pits of hell. Much like This Is The End’s excellent musical finale, the Katy Perry-inspired climax to proceedings is laugh-out-loud funny in its ridiculousness, and is reminiscent of Inglorious Basterd‘s infamous final scenes which see Hitler’s face shot off by a machine gun.
It did feel like shooting into the dark, over and over: the quantity of jokes is so high that there will be eventually one or two which reach even the most stubborn of funny bones. What you see is what you get, and most probably expected: it is silly, random, slightly insulting, and pretty outrageous. Looking past the stereotypes, the embarrassing boob jokes, and Franco’s incessant ramblings, as hard as you might try, its pure silliness makes it difficult to hate.