Much maligned, very controversial and the center of high level political maneuvering in December of 2014, THE INTERVIEW proves to be a lightweight and very funny satire of everything from reality TV to violent action films.
Perhaps its the ultra low expectations we went in with, but we laughed our heads off at the saga of uber idiot TV interviewer Dave Skylark and his loyal producer Aaron Rapaport. James Franco holds nothing back in a manic performance as Skylark, the most lightweight, info-tainment talk show host in America. He's more concerned with good drugs and getting lucky than any serious news story.
Seth Rogen is hilarious as Aaron, who begins to question how far his successful but questionable path has led astray from his serious news background. When he meets a college friend that has gone on to be an executive producer on 60 Minutes, Aaron realizes he needs to make a change.
Dave and Aaron are both shocked when North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-Un announces he is a huge Skylark fan. Aaron reaches out for an interview and Jong-Un says yes, setting up a Live Dave Skylark interview at his palace.
The CIA soon comes to visit in the guise of Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) who requests that the guys assassinate Kim while they are there.
The film is pretty funny throughout, from its peeks at Skylark tonight and Eminem's bold announcement, through our boys being trained on covert opps to their visit to North Korea, which takes up most of the last half of the film.
Kim is portrayed by Randall Park in a hilarious performance that captures everything from the goofy fan boy that the real Kim is to Dennis Rodman (and here to Skylark) to his mad dictator persona that's buried just beneath his mild mannered surface.
As our boys attempts at taking him out fail miserably again and again, Franco and Rogen roll out endless fast and funny wordplay and physical comedy.
As most would expect, all of the comedy is very lowbrow, dirty, profane and targeted at the level of a teenage boy, and plenty of old dudes who still have that sense of humor just beneath THEIR surface. Count me in that lot because I laughed out loud through the whole movie.
Diana Bang is excellent as Kim's head of security Sook, who has the best machine gun scene since "Predator"s mowing down the jungle scene. (every teenage boy of all ages knows exactly what I am referring to)
It's hard to believe a film this lightweight caused so much international fuss and strife for its studio, Sony.
Granted, there aren't too many films that portray the assassination of a sitting foreign leader, but I cant imagine America's reaction being much more than a "that's pretty inappropriate" shout or two if a foreign country did a similar film about us.
Of course it would have subtitles so most of America would never know it existed anyway.
If your taste for comedy goes for goofy, not easily offended, mixed with some big action pieces, sign up for THE INTERVIEW.
We thought it was hilarious and give it a solid B.