The Interview

"OK"

The Interview Review


There's half of a great satire here, as Seth Rogen, James Franco and Evan Goldberg combine that freewheeling mayhem from This Is the End with some more pointed political comedy. But in its second half, the script begins to repeat its less-funny jokes, wallowing in smutty gags and excessive violence. These things may please the chuckleheads in the audience, but they wear everyone else out. And they make us work to see the film's much more enjoyable brom-com plot and sharp social commentary.

The story is centred around swaggering TV personality Dave Skylark (Franco), whose chat show majors in shocking celebrity revelations like Eminem's homosexuality or Rob Lowe's baldness. Dave's producer Aaron (Rogen) is feeling like a second-class newsmaker when he discovers that North Korean despot Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) is a fan of Dave's show and is willing to be interviewed live on camera. Then before they can head off, two CIA operatives (Lizzy Caplan and Reese Alexander) convince Dave and Aaron to assassinate Kim with a deadly drug. And when they arrive in Pongyang their mission is complicated when Aaron falls for Kim's media director Sook (Diana Bang) and Dave falls for Kim himself.

Yes, the film has a fairly standard romantic-comedy structure, as Dave and Aaron's close friendship is strained to the breaking point by the arrival of another man. Virtually all of the dialogue is infused with gay innuendo, double entendres and full-on sex jokes. Some of this is genuinely hilarious, such as the first time Dave and Kim discover their mutual love of Katy Perry's Firework. Then that joke is brought back four or five times, so by the end it's not even mildly amusing. Pretty much every gag in the film is beaten to death, even the ones that weren't funny to begin with. Thankfully, the actors' energy never flags.

Franco, Rogen and Park keep their interaction lively and witty, so even when Franco overplays a scene as the grandstanding Dave he's still likeable. Rogen's character has more shadings, while Park has a lot of fun as the despised ruler longing to be a good-time boy. Indeed, the best theme in the film centres on America's need for a villain to hate. But aside from this astute political and social comedy, much the film's humour relies on inside jokes that don't always include the audience. In other words, if the script maintained the pointed satire instead of drifting into over-the-top Tarantino-style carnage and bum-themed gags, it might have been an anarchic classic.


The Interview Trailer



The Interview

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 24th December 2014

Box Office USA: $6.1M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Sony Pictures Studio, Columbia TriStar

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 43

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , , James Weaver

Starring: as Dave Skylark, as Aaron Rapaport, as Agent Lacey, as Kim Jung-Un, Diana Bang as Sook, as Malcolm, Reese Alexander as Agent Botwin, James Yi as Officer Koh, Paul Bae as Officer Yu, Geoff Gustafson as Cole, Dominique Lalonde as Jackie, Anesha Bailey as Janet, Anders Holm as Jake, Charles Rahi Chun as General Jong, Don Chow as Two-Fingered Man, Jason Cox as Paparrazi, Tommy Chang as Presidential Body Guard #1, as Eminem, as Eminem's Publicist, as Himself

Also starring:

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