By Jon Rutledge
The Interview is at the centre of a media storm that involves hackers, governments and Hollywood. The most amusing part is the fact that the move itself is not worth the hype and hysteria it's created. If not linked to a major security breach at Sony, you get the feeling Seth Rogen & James Francos comedy would have been a very small blip on the cinematic radar - easily panned and easily forgotten about.
In The Interview David Skylark (James Franco) is the host of a popular but cheap news show. Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) is his producer. After 1000 shows Aaron is feeling like they could be doing more with the product they have, that they should be attempting to break "real" news. As luck would have it, David reads an interview that says that President Kim Jong-un (Randal Park) is a huge fan of his show and in an attempt to do something more important they take the interview (but not before they get approached by the CIA who ask them to kill the president of North Korea).
Seth Rogen and James Franco really try and push the limits with a film that takes bad taste to new depths. If you read my reviews you know I am not a fan of this kind of silliness.
That said, from a technical standpoint, The Interview is shot well and visually impressive. The subject is always in frame and placed well in the scene and the set design looks good. There is a scene with Seth Rogan on a train in China and dealing with other passengers, engaging with the locals in a very entertaining way. You can't help but think the duo would be better served if they centred an entire movie on that.
As is often the case with Vince Vaughn comedies, the real strength of the piece is just how likeable and fun a person Seth Rogan seems to be. Perhaps they should forget all this "plot" caper and capitalise on that instead of churning out entertainment that scrapes the scum from beneath the bottom of the barrel.
Alas, this just feels like skits that were tossed together and assembled with a story as an afterthought. It rushes from joke set-up to joke set-up and there is little time to stop look around and get to know or enjoy the characters.
The CIA team is really just there to provide them with gags, a key scene involving Agent Lacey(Lizzy Caplan) talking Aaron through securing the package is the only time this movie got a laugh from me.
I don't think The Interview was the cause of the hacking scandal (no matter what we are made to believe) and it was just a sad (albeit profitable) coincidence the film was released at the same time.
History will mark The Interview as a movie that became a rallying cry for freedom and standing up to terrorists. What will be forgotten is that it's just not that strong of a movie. It's simply Seth Rogen "Honeydicking" the audience with bad humour but not delivering the goods.
Give yourself a break and skip it, anything else is more important than this film.
Conclusion: Movie: 20%