Big Screen :: The Interview

February 16th 2015


Watching ‘The Interview‘ is weird now, and it’s not just because some shadowy group of dickheads threatened to blow up any cinemas that screen it.

(Thankfully, I can report that Dendy Newtown remained standing when I saw it on opening night.)

No, it’s weird because you kind of forget that there is a movie under all the bullshit craziness that erupted around it. More bullshit craziness than has ever erupted around any movie in history. (‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ has got nothing.)

This movie, which is utterly and completely obsessed with butt-holes and pooping (much like this review), caused a hostile hermit nation to almost bring down a major movie studio, had the entire American cinema industry cowering into a ball and crying, because some old ladies and wusses thought they might get exploded if ‘The Interview‘ was showing at the same place where they wanted to watch ‘Into The Woods‘ or that movie where Johnny Depp has a moustache.

My point is that ‘The Interview’ kind of transcends good and bad. You should see it because it’s now an historical artefact. A historical artefact that just happens to contain Kim Jong Un crapping his pants and a long scene where Seth Rogen sticks a small jagged missile full of poison up his butt.

James Franco plays TV host Dave Skylark, who is a complete idiot. He is one of those movie characters who have amazing jobs, but if they existed in the real world they’d be in assisted living accommodation on the Disability Support Pension, and even Alan Jones and The Daily Telegraph would think that it was fair enough.

But in this world, he presents a high-rated gossip show produced by Seth Rogen. Rogen yearns for legitimacy, so he organises an interview with Kim Jong Un, who happens to be a big fan of Skylark. Once the CIA works out that they are going to be in the same room together, they organise for Skylark to assassinate Kim.

It’s really important that you know that – despite all these presidents and important people talking about it – this is a super lowbrow, dumb comedy.

I thought it was pretty funny, although there are some big problems. Setting up the mechanics of the plot is laborious and boring, but once they get to North Korea it gets pretty fun. (Obviously the reality of North Korea is glossed over because it is disgraceful and tragic and not at all funny.)

Seth Rogen is playing the same role he always does. James Franco, though, is a bit of a mystery.

I have a theory that he is a weirdo character actor who keeps taking lead roles when he should be doing more stuff like ‘Spring Breakers’ and that Jason Statham movie where he plays a meth head. The only way I can describe him in this is that he is half terrible and half hilarious. I mean that literally. In about half the scenes, he is so bad that you almost can’t believe he is a professional actor, but in others he will nail a punchline or give a reaction shot that had me cackling. So I don’t know what the hell was up with that.

I liked ‘Bad Neighbours’ and ‘This Is The End’ more than this. It’s not great, but even without all the other stuff, ‘The Interview’ would be worth a look.


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