The Interview (2014)

The Interview is… annoying? It’s the only word I can think of. It’s a comedy that throws everything at the screen it can think of, any joke, no matter how high or low it aims, they just thrust it all out and see what sticks. Not much does, if you ask me, but that doesn’t really matter I guess. It’s not a secret by now that this movie is not worth all the controversy it caused. Its humor and tone is so all over the place that there is not much room for satire or any deep thought. And the movie honestly doesn’t care either, which might be in its favor. I found it, well, annoying, because it’s very long, not many jokes are funny and the direction is lazy. Seth Rogen does his Seth Rogen thing, which is somewhat entertaining for a while but not forever. James Franco… I don’t what to say. I think he is the worst part of the movie as his grimacing and overacting is simply mind-boggling. It is impossible to feel any sympathy for him, but the movie wants us to like him, which is hard if it’s tough just watching him talk.

Some people say that, despite all the discussions about freedom of speech that the movie involuntarily triggered, the movie is offensive. And of course it is. It simplifies North Korea to a simple joke of famine and nuclear weapons. Is that a problem? I wouldn’t call it a problem, but it also doesn’t land any punches either. Throughout the movie I was thinking of South Park, the movie, in which Saddam Hussein played a central character. That was funny because it was shocking and absurd and so offensive that it turned itself around (no, I haven’t seen Team America: World Police yet, but I should). Above all, the whole movie was a pointed satire on the U.S. It was cohesive. Here, all they are able to do is show Kim-Jong un (Randall Park) as someone who likes Katy Perry (ha ha) and margaritas, but eventually is some evil guy. Man, it’s hard to even write about it because not much is there. What is there is boring and uninspired. So why make a movie like this, if you have nothing to say? And please don’t tell me it’s a media satire, because apart from the Eminem bit in the beginning (which is probably the best scene in the movie, if it wasn’t for Franco’s faces), the rest is so insultingly lame. Most people in the media only care about viewers and sensationalism? Wow, that’s a new one.

What else does the movie offer? Jokes on feminist and female stereotypes, which makes it seem self-aware and clever, but then again there are scenes of topless Korean women just for kicks and Lizzy Caplan has to play the intelligent CIA woman, who still falls for the guy in the end because what else could she do? (how did she end up in this movie?) Oh, and Sook (Diana Bang), who fulfills all the stereotypes of Asian women being crazy (not much different than Crank in that regard), but there are so fascinating. Almost exotic. The last third of the movie also has excessive violence that is so over the top that, you know, it’s funny, you know? Like cartoon violence, you know? Ha ha? Well, there are ways of using this kind of gore for humor that work (Monty Python, South Park, Lawrence & Tucker vs. Evil) and there is The Interview which thinks that blowing up a Korean dictator in slow-motion must be the climax of the movie. Like whoa, you know? But if finger-biting and butt-shooting seem like really funny ideas to you, this is your movie.

That’s about it. It’s not a complete disaster because Seth Rogen is funny at times and there are a few nice ideas, but overall it’s just a thoughtless mess. And James Franco’s face will haunt me for a while. If you don’t believe me, here are all the faces from a one-minute-scene in which he doesn’t even do most of the talking. That should have been the scandal over this movie.

172 Interview - Face9.jpg

Thanks for @Caromania2000 for suggesting the movie!