Rule #1: Don’t make a big deal out of things that you want to go away. This goes for political or religious leaders, causes, or ideologues.
Kim Jong-Un, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the Guardians of Peace (GOP) helped turn “The Interview” from what would have otherwise been a small, probably forgettable film into the “must-see” film of the season.
The audience my cousin and I saw it with seemed to follow the same general trend: those who were generally interested in the film from the outset and now those who were inspired to see it because some brutal dictator and his cronies tried telling us we couldn’t see it. The former tend to like the film more than the latter. My cousin and I have been interested in this film since we first heard about it so we enjoyed the film tremendously.
“The Interview” accomplishes several things. It starts off strong with an amazingly hilarious opening sequence, then immediately plunges into David Skylark’s (James Franco) funniest interview. After this, however, the film drags a bit. There are some great bits of comedy here and there, but overall the time between Eminem’s interview and the arrival of the CIA is the low point in the film.
Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) is dissatisfied with his role as producer once he runs into an old college friend. This set-up gets us to North Korea in about fifteen minutes or so and once we arrive with Skylark and Rapaport the film truly takes off.
What “The Interview” does exceptionally well is a multi-layered send up of several things at once without dulling the comedy, taking us out of the narrative, or coming across as preachy. The CIA’s reliance on Skylark, who is clearly an idiot, speaks volumes about this agency’s competence level. Of course Kim Jong-Un, played fabulously by Randall Park, and the North Korean regime is the most visible target of Rogen and Franco’s satire. Finally, once Skylark kicks into full gear with Kim Jong-Un and their bromance develops, it is the asshole basketball player Dennis Rodman who is thrown under the lens.
When people like Skylark or Rodman do the things they do, like the events depicted in the film for Skylark, and the real-life bromance between Rodman and Kim Jong-Un, they lend credibility to the brutality and continued regime of the DPRK. They slam dunk of the graves of all those murdered in concentration camps, starved to death, massacred by execution squads, or “simply” disappeared for other political reasons. Rapaport tries in vain to point all this out to his friend and colleague as Skylark falls for Kim Jong-Un’s personality more and more.
Ultimately, for me and for the teenager sitting next to me, the film worked. It was hilarious, It worked as a political satire, and in my opinion it was one of Franco and Rogen’s most successful film’s yet. I appreciated the fact that they seemed to know when to surprise us with a joke and when to telegraph it for maximum impact. Skylark’s idiocy is well balanced by Rapaport’s voice of reason, yet both men are way out of their depth. Lizzy Caplan as Agent Lacey of the CIA and Diana Bang as Sook Yoon Park PR Director of the DPRK are great additions to the cast, especially Bang who gets to play around in her role as she produces the actual interview between Skylark and the Supreme Leader.
Overall, I think it will come down why you are going to see the film: are you interested in this type of film in general? If so, then you will most likely find “The Interview” enoyable. However, if you are going to support Free Speech and Freedom of the Press then this may not be your type of film, although you may be surprised, either way you have my thanks, and my salute!
The major film chains showed their true colors, their allegiance to dollars and cents over RIGHTS and IDEAS. Sony initially backed down, but then stood up and were strong and for that they have my thanks and admiration. Regal, AMC, Signature, Cinemark, (and all you other major chains cowardly refusing to show this film) should be ashamed of yourself.
This WAS “just a film” until a brutal foreign dictator, more than willing to slaughter his own people, and his supporters took it upon themselves to try and impose their will upon us. GOP, DPRK, and Kim Jong-Un made it so going to this movie was an act of rebellion, seeing this movie was to support an idea, and values.
For me, “The Interview” was worth seeing even before all the brouhaha. Afterwards, even more-so, even if there was a real credible threat. Steve Carrell’s comedy “Pyongyong” is still cancelled however, and studios are still cowed. Personally, “I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees,” and like Hitler, Mussolini, Caligula, Quisling, Stalin, (and many more) there are just some regimes and rulers who NEED to be called out.