Monday, December 29, 2014

The Interview (USA, 2014)

Nine Things About the Movie The Interview

1. This movie was written and directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, and also stars James Franco. These three also made "This is the End" together in 2013.  If you've seen that movie, you already know this one is going to be kind of bizarre, and full of tasteless and weird humor.

2. Franco plays Dave Skylark, a dumbly charming host of a Hollywood trashy gossip show. Rogan  plays Aaron Rapoport, the show's producer. They discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un is a fan of the show and wants to be interviewed by them. The CIA intervenes and wants the pair to assassinate Kim Jung-Un while they are there.

3. Goldberg and Rogan knew their absurd plot was made more realistic after Dennis Rodman visited Kim Jung-Un and fell for the propaganda.

4. The movie was originally supposed to be released in October 2014, but North Korea threatened "merciless" action against the U.S. So the movie was pushed back to Christmas 2014 and supposedly edited to make it more acceptable to North Korea. I have no idea what editing they did, but there is absolutely no way that Kim Jung-Un would ever be OK with this movie. The ending isn't even the worst part - Kim is mercilessly mocked throughout the movie. Goldberg and Rogan had to know they were hitting a very sensitive nerve.

5. Randall Park (whose parents are South Korean) plays Kim Jung-Un. Hopefully he's in some sort of witness protection program, because I wouldn't be surprised if North Korea has taken a hit out on him.

6. There is a certain amount of political satire in the movie, but there's more dumb humor and butt jokes. It makes for a weird combination. There is also a surprising amount of bloody violence for what is essentially a buddy comedy.

7. Apparently, North Korean citizens really want to see this movie, even though being caught with it could cause them to be executed. So human rights organizations are actually balloon-dropping copies of the movie into the country.

8. This movie will probably be counted one of the most memorable moments of Katy Perry's career (even though the slow version of "Fireworks" played at the climax isn't really Katy Perry - it's a cover by a singer named Jenny Lane).

9. This isn't the best movie of the year, but it's certainly not the worst. It's dumber than it could be, but smarter than it looks. The humor will not be to everyone's taste, but it's one of the funniest movies I've seen this year.