The Interview


The Interview is a silly film.

There. That’s it. The film that’s become the center of one of the biggest stories to emerge from Hollywood in years is a silly trifle of a film. Under normal circumstances, it would have opened Christmas Day with some solid numbers because it’s the only real comedy opening that day, and it would have a healthy box office return, and people would largely forget about it.

But now, it’s the not-so-little film that could. Instead of playing at major theater chains across the country, it’s being shown at independent/art house cinemas and streaming on selected services. Many of those attending are viewing it as a triumph of free speech against a tyrannical foreign government. At the screening I attended here in Atlanta, the film was preceded by a (lengthy) rendition of “God Bless America,” which several audience members felt the need to join in singing.

All of this for a film that’s more concerned with dick jokes than anything else. Anyone looking for a sharp satire should look elsewhere.

That’s not to say political issues aren’t present in the film. They are. The Interview acknowledges verbally the problems that plague North Korea, while also taking a few swipes at issues here in America. If the film has anything resembling a political message, it’s that the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, is a joke who’s only made powerful when others make him feel powerful.

If there is a target here, though, it’s not North Korea or Kim Jong-un. American media gets more lambasting here. Skylark Tonight is an infotainment program that’s more concerned with showing celebrities playing with puppies than anything hard-hitting. The reason Dave Skylark is able to land an interview with Kim Jong-un? Skylark’s willing to only ask questions created by the North Korean government. When Skylark attempts to question Kim Jong-un about legitimate issues in North Korea, he responds with a damning list of issues that America faces in dealing with our citizens. The only way to bring him down is to make things personal, using the silliest of references.

Above all else, though, this is a crude comedy. Anyone expecting different shouldn’t be surprised – the trailers for this film aren’t covering anything about the film’s tone up. The main characters are idiots, and while there are some jokes that are definitely offensive (such as a stereotypical Asian accent and statement), they only serve to further paint their tellers as moronic.

In short: seeing this movie to prove some sort of patriotism is pointless. If previous Seth Rogen/James Franco movies aren’t your thing, there’s no real point in seeing this one. If you do like their particular brand of humor, though, you can now see it. Take advantage.

The Interview • Rating: R (for pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use and bloody violence) • Runtime: 112 minutes • Genre: Comedy • Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park • Directors: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg • Writers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg • Distributor: Columbia

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