What's left to say about The Interview? The Sony hack and the Gaurdians of Peace have had more than enough coverage so I won't bother with a retreading of the events that lead to the eventual day and date release of The Interview. Well that's not entirely true the film was released on VOD on Christmas Eve and in theaters on Christmas day. If you want to read about the full story The Hollywood Reporter has pretty much up to the minute coverage and Drew McWeeny has written a wonderful piece on the consequences of this story over at HitFix.
With all the questions surrounding the film one was left out of the conversation, is the film any good? Simple answer, yes. This is a perfectly fine little comedy, nothing about this movie should have created the controversy it did. This is pretty typical for a Rogen/Franco/Goldberg joint, if you like their other films, you will like this one too.
Dave Skylark (Franco) and producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) run the celebrity tabloid show "Skylark Tonight." When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission. The plot itself was a ballsy choice. From Sony the people who brought you the ever expanding Spiderman universe that nobody was clamoring for, comes a comedy about the attempted assassination of the worlds most batshit crazy dictator. For all the vitriolic nastiness that has been spread all over the internet about Sony in the last couple weeks, keep in mind they made this movie and released it. Both were bold decisions that were important for art and free expression.
The movie won't hold up to the controversy surrounding it because it was never intended to change the world. This is not high art and shouldn't be judged against All The Presidents Men, instead use something like This Is The End as your compass and you'll have a much better idea where this film is headed and the type of impact it intended to have. Does it have bromance? Of Course. Slow motion? They didn't forget how to over crank. Does it have random drug use? Absolutely. Comedies are one of the toughest genres to review and judge because they are incredibly subjective. I happen to be one of the mouth breathing masses that finds Rogen and Goldbergs collaborations endlessly entertaining. They are really starting to hit a creative stride and hope they will continue to push themselves into uncharted territory.
The Interview is in no way a perfect film but I had a great time watching it. Hopefully people will be inspired by this film to read up on North Korea. Some of Kim Jun-Un's more wacky antics had to be left out of the film because the filmmakers felt like no one would believe them. When the film was attempting to be more grounded in reality it became too much for the audience. To end on a cliche sometimes truth is truly stranger than fiction and in the immortal words of Matt Stone and Trey Parker "America, Fuck Yeah."
Here are some videos of the cast and crew of The Interview surprising audiences on Christmas day.