Rather than succeeding at being a satirical spoof of North Korea, the film makes Americans look like fools. “USA”, “USA!”
As I noted in a commentary shortly before Christmas, the previews for The Interview made it look appallingly vulgar. Having now seen it, my reaction hasn’t changed.
Seth Rogen and James Franco portray Hollywood at its very worst. It begins with sex, drugs and…did I say sex? Before even thinking about tormenting North Korea, the lives of these two Bozos revolved around Ecstasy, cocaine, booze and orgies. This movie is made for horny, teenage boys and no one else.
In a nutshell, Franco plays Dave Skylark, a narcissistic, semi-intelligent interviewer on a TV series resembling a twisted version of Entertainment Tonight. Only in Skylark’s case, he was proud to conduct all of his interviews in the gutter. Mr. Rogen portrays Aaron Rapaport, his director/producer, and his embarrassment with his show is offset by its financial success. They are a modern-day version of Dumb and Dumberer.
As most of you already know, the film focuses on the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un’s (Randall Park) fascination with Franco’s show, and he lets it be known that he would like to be interviewed. Just as our boys embrace the opportunity for national publicity with glee, they are visited by a CIA operative who wants them to “take him out.” Given the fact that both Skylark and Rapaport give the word idiot a bad name, they initially think the CIA wants them to take Kim out to dinner. It actually was one of the two really funny moments of this lamentable film. (The second was an interview with Eminem, though you will have to humiliate yourself and see the film to catch the humor. On the other hand, you would be advised to leave the theater at the conclusion of that interview.)
In any event, our boys are off to North Korea, where the film quickly loses any focus, much less meaning. Skylark discovers that Kim is a Korean version of himself, and the Korean leader reveals that he avoids drinking margaritas because that would mean he is gay. He is further embarrassed to admit that he likes Katy Perry’s Firework. A bond is formed that resembles fraternity brothers in the old film Animal House (1978), and Skylark soon regrets his mission.
The most condemnable part of this movie deals with its blatant sexism. Only two females appear, one being Lizzy Caplin as the CIA agent and Diana Bang as the North Korean operative who is assigned to escort Franco and Rogen before their interview. Both of these women are forced to dress and act as little more than hot, sexual commodities, and you get the feeling that you will soon see both appearing as weather forecasters on T.V. in Midwestern cities.
Though the movie has a lot of bangs and violence in the end, I was disgusted to read a story in the December 26th edition of the Indianapolis Star where members of the audience were chanting both “U.S.A! U.S.A!” and “America!” at its conclusion. How ironic given the fact that there is nothing remotely complimentary about the United States in this entire cinematic lost cause.
To the contrary, you are left with the feeling that North Korea came far closer to protecting its image with the release of this film rather than keeping it under wraps. All that it really proves is that our First Amendment protects the right of all Americans to make a complete ass out of our national image.