Runtime: 112 minutes
Cast: James Franco (Dave Skylark)
Seth Rogen (Aaron Rapoport)
Randall Park (Kim Jong-un)
In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show "Skylark Tonight." When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un. (IMDb)
There was a lot of chaos and concerns around this movie, especially after the Sony hacks and threats. But, many people believe this was merely a public stunt to get more attention. Even if, I don't think it matters if it's true or not. It was a very successful way of getting a great number of people interested in a movie which, despite pulling a lot of topics into ridiculousness, also made them think about it all. Or at least it made me think.
The Interview tells the story of the TV host Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport who go to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un, because it turns out that he is a big fan of Skylark's show, while the CIA has given them the mission of killing him. Through twists and turns we follow their journey which features many jokes about various topics, pop culture references and more than one ridiculous scene. But, in the end, we still get information's and details which are there to make us think.
Thanks to the great outcry that the canceling of the movie generated, many people happily watched the movie on the 24th of December 2014 when Sony released it online. Many may say that a movie about a topic like this should be more serious and rather have a drama-like tone to it but, let's be honest, a much smaller number of people would watch it. Not because they would think it's a bad movie but rather because many people are not really into dramas which offer loads of information's, political vibes and seriousness. People prefer light, funny movies which make penis-jokes and such. Therefore I think this movie, starring the currently funniest duo that comedy has to offer, James Franco and Seth Rogen, was a great way to do it.
The portrayal of the characters these two played was great. James Franco was at his best. Funny and never out of character. Ridiculous while charming and convincing. Same goes for Seth Rogen, whose character maybe wasn't loud and obnoxious the way Franco's was, but he still had a lot to offer. The cautious friend who just wanted their show to have more credibility and also keep his best buddy safe.
And no one is going to say that Randall Park didn't do a great job of playing Kim Jong-un. Surely he was nothing like the real one, but that wasn't the point. The point wasn't to create a super realistic portrayal of North Korea, of the things going on in the country. The point was to entertain while, even if only very subtly, show the people the propaganda and falseness of what North Korea wants to show the world and what it is actually like. The best example for this would be the grocery shop which is made to look like it is packed with fresh fruits and food for the people, while in reality it is only a picture and fake fruits.
All in all I think this is a great movie to invite your friends over for quality comedy movie watching time on the sofa, just like the other Franco/Rogen movies were. Which is also why I think that it was a good movie of Sony to directly release it digitally and not in cinemas. This isn't your typical theatre movie but rather a sofa movie.
Surely this isn't the movie we've all been waiting for, produced at top notch to show us what North Korea is really like and so on, but it was still a well-made, entertaining movie with a strong bromance and lots of funny lines and scenes. And it even has a puppy.
I give The Interview 4 out of 5 Stars.