I realized this movie sucked when I stopped watching it to have dinner. Usually, I would finish a movie before eating, but sitting through The Interview was such a tedious exercise that I started staring at the walls and began to wonder if I should repaint them even while watching the film. Seth Rogen stars as the producer of a sleazy TV interview show that’s hosted by James Franco–who plays his clueless sleaze-pit party boy in such an over the top fashion that he looks like he’s acting in a completely different film than Rogen and the others. Franco’s bizarre, wigged out performance is just one of the problems I had with the movie, but it didn’t stop there.
Upon finding out that the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un (Randall Park), is a fan of their show, Rogen’s character reaches out to them for an interview through the North Korean Olympic offices–and to his surprise, they are granted an interview. There’s a big catch–the interview must be done in North Korea, and they control the questions–but of course our whacky dudes jump at the opportunity. And that’s when they get a visit by Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan, who’s actually pretty funny in a nice, deadpan way) from the CIA, who want to recruit these loveable party guys into assassinating the ‘dear leader’ of North Korea.
As you can see, it’s pretty silly. But so was Dr. Strangelove. Yet as silly as Dr. Strangelove was, not only was it just an enjoyably goofy film, it also worked very well as a sly satire that poked fun at the Cold War, with lines that are still extremely quotable even today (Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.). The Interview makes it very clear from the start that it’s not interested in giving us anything more than a big, dumb popcorn comedy movie, despite tackling a real-life dictator (who apparently managed to strike back at the studio that released this turd).
Another sticking point for me with The Interview is that it’s racist and just plain crude. I didn’t find it funny, and since the movie didn’t strive to be anything more than a brain-dead laugh fest, there’s nothing to recommend about this. In view of the real-life circus that sprouted up around the canceled release of this film (which proved to be far more interesting to watch than the film itself) many people online have jokingly stated that North Korea has done us a favor by preventing The Interview from being released. But, in all seriousness, Seth Rogen has every right to make whatever film he wants to make and get it released, just like we have every right to avoid seeing it because it’s a steaming pile of shit.