The Interview — A Review and Where to See It

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I saw The Interview in a secret underground bunker and lived to tell about it! I’m glad with all this controversy about the film, it actually had many laugh out loud moments. Now, that doesn’t mean this is brilliant political satire. These are the guys that brought you movies like Pineapple Express. I disliked that, but have to admit, I laughed myself silly in This is the End.

James Franco and Seth Rogen (who also directed), have great chemistry and their banter is often genius. Yes, I said genius. Despite one too many jokes about asses (hey, the movie is two hours long), this won’t disappoint. I gladly gave Sony my $5.99 to order it online and watch it at the computer.

You can order it, or for those in the San Diego area, you can head over to the Digital Gym in North Park. Most of their shows are selling out, though. I’m guessing that means it’ll get a wider release very soon.

Franco plays Dave Skylark, a dopey entertainment talk show host on “Skylark Tonight.”

Seth Rogen is the long-time producer, who is a bit envious of a friend who went on to become a producer at 60 Minutes. After all, he’s doing shows that have Rob Lowe come on and admit to really being bald (and you think he’s funny as the hairy Rob Lowe). There’s a cameo from rapper Eminem that is so hysterical, I won’t begin to spoil it. It’s the funniest cameo all year.

As the cast of Skylark Tonight celebrate their 1,000 episodes, they find out North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un is a big fan of the show. As everybody knows from the trailers and talk about the premise, they fly over to interview Kim, with the U.S. instead convincing them to assassinate him.

You’re going to get a lot of the scenes you expect from these guys. Parties where one person doesn’t realize he’s on ecstasy, topless women, pot smoking. Yet the montages for these scenes all felt fresh, and we’re a lot shorter than in previous films of this kind.

You can’t help but laugh when Franco is in a tank, drinking a margarita, and blowing up “dumb ass trees,” with Randall Park doing an excellent job playing Kim. It’s a shame that when people should be talking about a break-out performance by him, he’s probably off hiding somewhere.

You can always count on Franco and Rogen to come up with disgusting, but hilarious ways to describe things. After a night of partying, you’ll be embarrassed you laughed so hard listening to Franco describe what parts of his body smell like.

Now, for the elephant in the room for all discussions about this movie – was it needed for these guys to make the character named Kim Jong-Un? Although Sony wishes they hadn’t, as a viewer, I can guarantee it’s so much funnier being done this way. To make a fictional dictator of a made up country, you’d have to create a scene that tells the audience who this person is and why they’re bad. With Kim, we already know this. It also helps that visually, he’s a funny character to look at. As we all know now, that certainly upped the ante on just how dangerous even making a silly comedy can be, when you’re making fun of a nut job. Heck, I saw one critic write, “This movie is funny, but we’re probably going to get nuked for watching it.”

When reviewing a comedy, you hate to give away jokes, because you want the audience to enjoy them. The commercials often give away the best scenes, but that’s exactly why this is a comedy you should see. In the trailer, we see that Rogen has to hide something up his rectum. Trust me when I tell you, what happens before and after that, and the noises and things he says as he’s doing it…make this so much funnier than you can imagine.

The various things that fly out of Skylark’s mouth: “This interview will be bigger than Frosty/Nixon,” or “I’ve f***** more women than Ellen DeGenneres”…and the expression Rogen has after various idiotic statements, make this a joy to watch.

Rogen also has some good lines. When he doesn’t believe that it’s Kim Jong’s people calling him back, he starts making fun of the accent. When he finally realizes it’s a real call, he sheepishly says, “Me so sorry.”

Come on! That’s funny stuff.

A great job was done with the soundtrack as well (even if they could’ve played more than just the intro of a White Stripes song).

You’ll have a lot more fun watching this with a crowd, just because of the controversy surrounding it. It will create a sort of bonding among the audiences, because it’s an evil dictator that’s still in power.

The end of the movie states that “no animals were harmed in the filming.” Yeah, but Sony’s bank account was. So why not support a funny comedy, and give that proverbial middle finger to Kim Jong-Un?

(side note: If he’s reading this review, I want him to know…it was really a college intern that wrote the copy).

It gets 3 ½ stars out of 5.

1 Comment

  • Bob pearl

    Great review Josh, I don’t usually read your review before seeing the movie but it grabbed me from the first word. This is the kind of review that are enjoyable to read as when you like something it’s like your a real film watcher and not a critic even though you are . Ok well one of your best ones yet and I’ll be watching if I can convince the family tonight at 6 when eating otherwise I’ll watch when at home. Still waiting for a 5 star but maybe someday right? Happy holidays

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