Do you like Seth Rogen? Because if you do, then yeah, you’ll like The Interview. If you don’t, well, you won’t. Do I really have to write more? Oh ok, fine then…
So after much hmm-ing and haww-ing, The Interview finally got its intended big screen release. Although the plot is rather secondary to the comedy, it’s good to know just what made the North Koreans get so upset, so to summarise: Tabloid talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) have landed a live interview with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, who happens to be a big fan of Skylark’s show, ‘Skylark Tonight’. When news of this breaks, the American government persuades the bumbling duo to attempt an assassination on the dictator. Cue hilarious consequences. There are indeed some goofy twists and turns along the way, and thankfully they are quirky and enjoyable enough to keep you watching right until the end.
But this is a comedy after all, so the big question is… is it funny? And the answer is that, well, sometimes it is. When a film gives you more jokes than your brain can process, the law of averages state that surely some of them will make you laugh after all. For the first half of the story, this works very well and I did find myself laughing more than I thought I would – especially at a running Lord of the Rings gag. But as the film wore on, the constant dick, ass and poo jokes just became too tiresome. James Franco does a stellar job as the dimwitted Derek Zoolander-esque TV host and can be found holding most of the film’s better moments, but mostly the acting is by-the-numbers standard.
When it comes down to it, The Interview will be remembered more for the controversy it created rather than the film itself. It’s a victory for freedom of speech that it got a release in the end, and a reminder that comedy is comedy. The film is not intended to cause offence and if people do get offended, that’s their choice. There’s a slight stab on American culture too of course, asking why is it acceptable that a show glorifying the cult of celebrity and tabloid gossip be held in such high regard as Skylark Tonight is?
It’s quite ironic that in an early scene, Rogen’s character mentions that he might like to quit doing the brash Skylark Tonight show and maybe concentrate on something more serious. Considering the success and infamy The Interview is having, I imagine it will be a long time before Rogen himself has the same thoughts.