Thursday, May 19, 2016

Movie Review: The Interview

"Eminem's gay in our show!" – Aaron Rapaport

 Since this movie is about the assassination of the leader of North Korea, it was not shown in theaters as it was a danger to everyone who would watch it. Anyway, on to the movie.

The movie stars James Franco as David Skylark and Seth Rogen as Aaron Rapaport. They are both reporters and have their own show which stars Mr. Skylark.

Here's the setup: Dave Skylark (Franco) and his legit-wannabe producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) run the cable tabloid TV show "Skylark Tonight." When they discover that Kim Jong-un is a fan, they land an interview with him in the hope of validating themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the C.I.A., in the person of Agent Lacey,  supplies them with a fast-acting poison that can be transferred by handshake. Simple if you're James Bond. If you're Dave and Aaron, not so much. It's stupid. It's in bad taste. It impossible. I know all that. Look, Quentin Tarantino killed Hitler in and the neo-Nazis stayed quiet. It's a farce, people. From the opening scene in which a North Korean schoolgirl sings about Americans drowning in their own blood to a face-melting climax for Kim, The Interview strives hard, sometimes way too hard, to push the envelope. But at least Rogen and his co-director Evan Goldberg — their story forms the basis for Dan Sterling's screenplay — are striving to go beyond the dick jokes that spell easy box office. I wish the movie had spent more time on the bromance that develops between Dave and Kim. As played by the most excellent Randall Park, the ambitious Minnesota governor on Veep. Kim is as "ronery" as his father, Kim Jong-Il, in 2004's puppet parody, Team America: World Police. Franco brings a genuine sweetness to his role and his scenes with Kim suggests possibilities that get crushed by the film's descent into 007 pyrotechnics.

In the end, The Interview hits the sweet spot for raunchy fun and spiky lampooning because Franco and Rogen areas hilarious and fearless about swinging for the fences. It's the American way. Could Rogen and Goldberg have saved us all the fuss by changing Kim's name to a fictional dictator dedicated to the destruction of human rights? Maybe. But that instinct to try anything for shits and giggles and sticking it to dictatorial assholes is worth fighting for. Sucks for Kim if he can't take a joke.

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