‘They hate us ‘cause they ain’t us.’
After all the controversy and media coverage for what felt like was being billed as one of the most provocative comedies in years, The Interview has turned out to be a tame, lifeless and anodyne film that in comparison to something like Team America (which released ten-years ago) already seems dated and pointless.
Flamboyant television host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and producer friend Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) discover that one of the biggest fans of their celebrity tabloid show ‘Skylark Tonight’ is Kim Jong-un: dictator of the hermit nation North Korea. The CIA uses this rare opportunity of access to enlist the pair as makeshift assassins.
Seth Rogen, like almost every role in his film career, gives a nondescript performance in which he could have been replaced with any current comedic actor with no noticeable difference. James Franco turns in a bizarre performance – chewing, gurning and spitting out every line with the sort of overreacting that must have been funnier in a script room full of yes-men.
The only people who come out of The Interview with any credit are Lizzy Caplin in a brief stint as the head CIA agent and Randall Park playing the North Korean dictator.
Most of the jokes are a washout with some exceptions such as Randall Park’s ‘fuck you, Dave!’ remarks and a scene involving a tiger. It is difficult to even recall examples of terrible scenes (there are so many for one) because The Interview is actually quite dull and self-indulgently long.
‘This is what you do with haters…you just smile!’ claims Franco at one point. Despite the quality of the film, when you realise just how much money The Interview has made ($40 million makes it Sony’s most successful digital release to date), I’m sure, no matter what, Rogen et al will be smiling all the way to the bank. (3)