by Simon on March 5, 2015 · 0 comments

Elsewhere on these pages, one of my colleagues will be making pronouncements on the adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey that opens this week and, no doubt, mention the impossibly high expectations of its fan base hanging like Damocles’ sword over the heads of the filmmakers. What weight, therefore, hangs over Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s comedy The Interview, the film that momentarily looked like it might bring all-out war between North Korea and the free world?

the_interview screenwizeMuch has been written over the Summer about the threats made by Kim Jong Un towards cinemas that screened the film, its subsequent pull from commercial release for the safety of cinema patrons, the reactive groundswell of positive support for the filmmakers that led to an online and reduced cinematic release, and then possibly even the hacking of Sony’s IT system as retaliation for the same. So much political posturing went on in support of this little film’s right to free speech, that it’s a little embarrassing that it is just some goofy dumb little comedy. It’s not Brave New World or 1984. It’s not trying to make grand statements. It’s just a bunch of young writers and performers and filmmakers having a gag about America’s international relations, and North Korea and its leader taking itself a bit too seriously. How can a film stand up to the weight of all this? Frankly, it can’t, and should just be taken on its own merit.

The interview in question in The Interview is a career-defining opportunity that late-night chat show producer Aaron (Seth Rogen) scores for his host and best friend Dave Skylark (James Franco) with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) when the pair hear a rumour that KJU is secretly a fan of American culture and Skylark’s show in particular. The pair are intercepted en route to North Korea by a CIA operative (Lizzy Caplin) who enlists the pair as secret agents and tasks them to kill the dictator. Evan Goldberg is a long-time collaborator with both Rogen and Franco, and he and Rogen’s screenplay is funnier than their last This is the End, though once again a series of skits in search of a narrative to frame them in. Rogen is the straight-man onscreen to Franco’s scenery-chewing but very enjoyable egomaniac talk show host, while Randall Park’s amusing characterisation of the Korean leader is enjoyable work, and no doubt a lot braver a performance than he knew he was getting himself in for.

This is a fun and funny little film, if that humour does tend towards the gross.


Rating: ★★★☆☆



{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: