The Interview

James & Kim scene from The Interview

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Interview
| published January 11, 2015 |

Movie review by Lori Garrett
Thursday Review contributor

It seems that there were a lot of people who did not enjoy The Interview. Maybe it’s because it got so much attention due to the Sony Pictures hacks, with expectations rising to incalculable levels thanks to the extreme measures North Korea took to make sure it was not shown to mass audiences. Or maybe because of its political overtones that people expected more out of it—as if it was going to be a genuine commentary on the situation that we face with North Korea and Kim Jong-Un, and not a comedy. Maybe it’s because the subject matter involves a crazy dictator with no sense of humor, in which case, I don’t know why they even bothered watching it at all.

Me, personally? I enjoyed the heck out of it, perhaps because I got exactly what I expected—an over-the-top action comedy movie starring my favorite pair of schlubs. Maybe I’m just immature and am greatly amused by toilet humor and gratuitous cursing. Or maybe it’s because I’m a lover of film, and I can generally find something to like. (See my upcoming Top 5 Unwatchable Movies for the exceptions that prove the rule).

This latest entry into the comedy duo’s roster of hilarity is far more outrageous than Pineapple Express, and even more unbelievable than 2013’s apocalyptic This is the End. It also stars Lizzy Caplan (New Girl, True Blood, Masters of Sex) as a mostly straight-laced CIA agent, and Diana Bang (Bates Motel, Paranormal Solutions Inc) as a member of President Kim’s inner military circle. The big man himself was played by Randall Park (Veep, The Mindy Project, Fresh Off the Boat) who showed terrific range by playing Kim Jong-Un as both a young man just doing his best to hold the world on his shoulders, and a psychopathic mad man capable of anything. (In a way he is both, which may be that subtle deepness that got lost amid all the raunchy humor).

There’s not really much about the plot I can tell you that you don’t already know: two hapless TV journalists are recruited by the CIA to travel to Pyongyang and assassinate Kim. Just rest assured that Seth Rogan and James Franco make a great comedy team as per usual. They are currently filming Zeroville together, a comedy-drama based on the novel of the same name by Steve Erickson and set in 1969 Hollywood. It will also star Megan Fox, Will Ferrell and James Franco’s younger brother Dave (Now You See Me, the Jump Street reboot). Zeroville seems a bit more serious than their previous work, so we’ll see how their audience accepts it.

All in all, I liked The Interview for what it was. If you’re not a fan of explosions and raunchiness, you will probably want to give it a pass. Otherwise, order a pizza, sit back, relax and enjoy two hours of mind-numbing fun.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Was It Worth All The Fuss?; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; December 26, 2014.

What Now for Sony Pictures?; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; December 18, 2014.