Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Interview

In a week when cheaters can still play in the Super Bowl and major cities braced for winter superstorms that never came, what better time to review The Interview?

Originally intended to be just another bad stoner flick from James Franco and Seth Rogan, The Interview gained frightening national and international infamy by reputedly being the target of a cyber attack on Sony supposedly by North Korea. While the facts of who did what may be in question, it seems that making a film about what a monster the leader of North Korea is and how a couple of idiots attempt to assassinate him could actually lead to an act of war. Sounds silly, doesn't it? But apparently it happened.

I didn't plan on seeing this movie, but now that it is quickly available on Netflix, I thought, what the heck I might take a peek. And it's not a matter of wanting to see it as much as it's a matter of wanting to see what all the fuss is about. In The Interview, James Franco is an idiot talk show host and Seth Rogan his long suffering producer who longs to do serious journalism. In an attempt to remedy the latter, they land an exclusive interview with Kim Jong-un. The CIA intervenes and hopes to get them to stealthily assassinate the dictator.

The opening scene with Eminem is hilarious. There are sweet moments like Franco bonding with Kim Jong-un and Seth Rogan mooning over his North Korean counterpart but for the most part this is another Franco/Rogan dick and fart joke stoner movie, nothing new and nothing should be expected to be new. And when it takes a serious turn in the middle of its childish humor, I didn't know how to feel. Really, this film has a moral lesson and political agenda now? Way out of left field.

This is still a terrible movie, but it's better than it has any right to be. And I'm not sure whether that's good or bad. I certainly didn't hate it like I did This Is The End. I really didn't think I could hate James Franco more than I already did, and then I saw The Interview. The man is now on my do-not-watch list. Yeah, he's that bad. He makes Adam Sandler look like Cary Grant. Seth Rogan isn't bad, and Lizzy Caplan does her best with what she has to work with.

These movies seem to be quite popular and I don't like them much. A friend threw an idea my way that has been weighing on me, so I thought I'd throw it out to you. She compared the Franco/Rogan films to some of the sillier comedies of the 1960s, and suggested that they were just this generation's version of that type of humor. She mentioned two names in particular, and I'll pass them along - are these the type of movies that Jerry Lewis or Don Knotts be making if they were in their prime today? Thoughts?

Otherwise, I would say to wait to see The Interview for free, if at all. This flick is only a curiosity because of the controversy around it, not because of anything special in it.


  1. Glenn, I haven't seen the film yet, but I've heard so much about it that I felt that I did watch it by osmosis. Your review was one of the best I've read so far. This film caused international flurry and to tell the truth, I don't blame the leader of North Korea for being upset. Just because we think it's okay to degrade our president doesn't mean that the rest of the world considers bad manners and lack of common sense as free speech. We took grave risks in insulting a man who has the potential of starting war. To answer your question, no I don't think Jerry Lewis or any other comedian from the older comedy groups would be so idiotic. They played stupid; they weren't in real life.

  2. Like you, Glenn, I watched it because it was on Netflix and I was more curious than anything else as I hadn't planned on seeing it in the theater since I got burned on "This Is The End"

    I think it could have been a better movie. With a little thought it could have been a true political satire. But I'm definitely not the audience for movies of this sort. I didn't think dick and fart jokes were funny when I was 12 years old and the humor in this movie is on that kind of schoolyard level.