Directors: Evan Goldberg/ Seth Rogen
Cast Headliners: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park
Original Release Date: December 24th, 2014
When the initial premise of the next Seth Rogen / James Franco combo movie came out, it seemed like a dumb if sure fire comedy romp. The Interview simply can be summed up as the two comedians portraying friends Dave Skylark (Franco) and Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) who are given the chance to interview Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park) but are tasked by the CIA agent Lacey ( Lizzy Caplan) to kill him during it. Yes, that’s THE real North Korean leader who is their guest/target and so the simple prompt simultaneously caused both a fun film and a real world cyber warfare crisis.
It’s a strange world we live in that these two have affected politics and international relations. But the movie of which this all started… is it that bad? Well, it is blatantly a mocking parody of the Asian nation. But that’s just a major theme in a field of parodies. The movie actually features a surprising amount of time NOT in North Korea, and these segments are great with the heroes’ show Skylark Tonight, fun pokes at entertainment journalism and obligatory Rogen/Franco film celebrity cameos included.
Once the plot moves to Pyongang, it ends up being a very typical comedy like the others from this team. Franco takes the main focus this time and is hilarious as the often naïve Dave. Rogen is equally good as Aaron as well. They aren’t exactly breaking out of a box but they deliver. Because the central cast of characters is so intimate, including the ones listed above and Diana Bang as North Korean communications head/ love interest for Aaron , there is some great character interplay. The main characters have many great scenes like “smeagol to his precious. ” Without spoiling the film’s best twist and funniest scenes, the material with Kim and Skylark are amazing. Park does a wonderful job, managing to appear like the real person while bringing a new comedic perspective to his role. And of course there’s some epic action spiced in as well.
The movie is dumb at parts, but that’s to be expected. Repeated jokes and ones that fall flat are made up for by its scenes of brilliant inanity. Some segments drag on but the film’s two hours go buy quickly because of the amount of laughs. While certainly offensive to the despotic country, it’s nothing TOO obscene. It’s a pretty solid victory not only for America but another win to the long line of Franco/Rogen buddy comedies. 8.35 out of 10