A Big Chuck Movie Review: “The Interview” (VIDEO)
It is the most controversial film to hit the big screens in decades. We have all heard the back story by now. SONY's picture, "The Interview," is a stoner road trip movie starring Seth Rogan and James Franco as bumbling television stars who somehow (and only in Hollywoodland) worm their way into an interview with the secretive leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. When the CIA finds out about this they coerce the two guys to kill the Supreme Leader.
Fair enough. Simple, comedic plot. Not a big deal. But, North Korea thought it was a HUGE deal and had their top hackers uncover some secret files at SONY which eventually lead the company to cave in to extortion threats from the North Koreans. The company pulled the plug on the movie and it was headed to the trash bin. Later, when cooler heads prevailed, the company sent the movie out in limited release.
I went to see The Interview at the Madison Theater in Albany on Saturday.
After a few brief naps during the film I finally caught the jet stream of this fantasy and followed it to the end. It wasn't easy. Rogan and Franco are likable enough, kind of like a couple of doofuss Hope and Crosby's, and Randall Park, who portrays leader Kim Jong Un, steals the show. The jokes are sophomoric, the sexual double entendres comes at you fast and furious, and the final assassination scene (if you are still awake) is underwhelming.
This is as broad a satiric comedy as you can find. It satirizes everything it touches: the media, the CIA, the North Koreans..just everything. Once the two "journalists" enter North Korea we can even see some attempts at a serious message start to emerge (especially when Franco discovers the country's "Potemkin Village phoniness"), but by then the average film goer doesn't care.
Have I seen worse movies? Definitely. In fact one movie I saw this year, Foxcatcher, which is touted as a major Oscar player was (in my humble opinion) dreadful.
The Interview can be fun, is definitely colorful and stylish, and has some excellent performances (Park is downright hilarious). But the whole patina of the movie is vulgar, nasty and foul mouthed at best. I must say, though, there were two college students with us when we saw the movie. They declared the film "great!" So, maybe it's just me.
And as for the whole hacking extortion threat thingy from North Korea? We know the country has no freedom, no food, no internet and no hope for the future. After the whole Interview controversy we also learn one more thing about the Hermit Kingdom.
They have no sense of humor.
I begrudgingly give the movie two very small meatballs. Save your money.