If you are reading this, then you probably already know all about the madness surrounding this film’s almost-release, cancellation, and ultimate resurrection. It’s a real phoenix from the ashes of bad decisions made by Sony pictures, various theater chains, and everyone else involved. So allow me to answer the burning question that everyone is asking: is the film worth starting World War III over? (Mild spoilers ahead!)
The film opens strong in the funny department, with a great segment featuring Eminem, proving once again that he can be genuinely funny in small doses. We learn quickly that entertainment talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) is a clueless idiot, and his best friend and co-worker Aaron Rapport (Seth Rogan) is the brains of the operation — and maybe a little to uptight for his own good. The two learn that North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un (Randal Park) is a huge fan of Dave’s and wants to meet him for an exclusive interview. Of course the government learns of this, sees it as an opportunity to assassinate Kim, and convinces the TV duo to do it. Through paint-by-numbers scenes, we are led to believe that even if Dave tried his best, he was just not going to be able to carry out this dangerous mission, and it will be up to Aaron to complete it. These scenes are okay, but nothing extraordinarily amusing.
The Pineapple Express boys at it again.
The second act is all Randal Parks. His amazing portrayal of real life North Korean dictator is my favorite aspect of this film. His bro-mance with Dave is genuinely funny, and some of my own bro-centric questions get answered, like “Is it okay as a guy to like margaritas?” This relationship is by far the movie’s greatest, followed closely by Aaron’s love interest Sook (Diana Bang). While the bro-mance is brewing, Aaron is attracted to Kim’s right hand woman Sook, and as best they try to fight it, they end up falling in love…sort of without the use of their hands (see the movie — it’ll make sense).
The third act, unlike other movies, is the strongest. We learn that Kim is not only as bad as everyone thinks he is, but actually worse. Parks is so great at portraying a likable, sympathetic leader stuck in his fathers shadow, but he is even better at flipping the switch and becoming an amazingly hate-able villain. It was awesome to watch him squirm when Dave doesn’t stick to the questions he was supposed to ask. The film deviates from what we were expecting and is better for it: the last 15 minutes is basically Freaks and Geeks meets Expendables. And that scene everyone heard about — yeah, the one featuring the song “Fireworks” — is as good, if not better then what you heard. I can see why North Korea was a little upset, but Saddam didn’t hack Twentieth Century Fox when they released Hot Shots Part Deux.
Dennis Rodman’s celebratory dunk pose.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It has some great jokes, and the supporting cast plays so well off of each other that I actually want to see it again. It’s not a Team America “eff yeah,” but it’s a definite “pitch in your buck o’ five.” I recommend it to fans of Seth Rogan and James Franco, as well as the casual moviegoer who is just curious what all the media attention was about.
The Interview is currently in limited theaters and available from various streaming sites.
Article by contributor Moan4Stallone.
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