|Courtesy of Sony Pictures|
2014, 112 minutes
Rated R for pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use and bloody violence
Review by Joshua Handler
The controversy surrounding Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's The Interview is outrageous. The only people this film will actually offend is the North Korean government. But, I'm not going to focus this review around the controversy, since this is a review of the film's merits (or lack thereof). I'll say it here: The Interview is no This is the End, but it is still quite funny and highly enjoyable.
The Interview tells the story of TV show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) who are given the rare opportunity to interview North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park). However, before going to North Korea for the interview, the FBI charge Skylark and Rapaport with the task of assassinating Kim Jong-un.
Many comedies nowadays don't push their ripe premise far enough. However, with The Interview, directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg go for broke. There were many moments where it seemed inconceivable that Rogen and Goldberg would go as far as they threatened to, but during those moments they went far past where they threatened to. They hold nothing back, and in doing so, have created a comedy that is more shocking than funny, but it is still quite funny.
While The Interview isn't the genius political satire that it should've been, it is such an immensely enjoyable experience due to Rogen and Franco's natural chemistry, some wonderfully crude sight gags, and an outrageously exciting finale. And, the film's MVP is Randall Park, who gives a game performance as Kim Jong-un. Diana Bang also adds some energy as Sook, a member of the North Korean government.
Above all else, though, The Interview's heart is in the right place. The film is not mean-spirited. It's a simple comedy that wants to poke fun at an easy target and give its audience an enjoyable night out at the movies. Rogen, Goldberg, Franco, and everyone else involved obviously had no malintent with this film, but their good intentions backfired.
Overall, The Interview is a good film that's been overshadowed by a ridiculous amount of controversy. While its go-for-broke style of crude humor will not be for everyone, it will not disappoint fans of Rogen, Goldberg, and Franco's previous comedies.