I do have a soft spot for movies that make little sense, such as Jackass, Wild Wild West, most of Adam Sandler’s movies and of course the Transformers series! Then there are movies that make no sense…The Last Airbender, Pacific Rim, Battleship, Sex and the City and topping this list…The Twilight Series. The Interview falls somewhere in between these two lists.
The story is … uuhh…’unorthodox’? But I guess that would be like calling the World War as a small scuffle. Dave Skylark (James Franco) is the star of a cult celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight” where he interviews celebrities and finds out their deepest, darkest secrets revealing them on television, all in the name of ratings. Aaron Rapport (Seth Rogen) is his BFF and also the producer of the show. Years go by and we pick up the movie when they are celebrating their 1000th episode. It is then when reality strikes Aaron, who realizes that he isn’t doing any real journalism and his work is no different from watching a Kardashian do the stock market report.
Dave then hits the jackpot of all interview opportunities when he realizes that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of their show. Now for people looking to legitimize themselves as serious journalists there is no better way than getting face time with one of the most elusive rulers in the whole world. So while Dave and Aaraon are preparing for their interview and travel to North Korea, the CIA steps in and want these two to “take him (Kim Jong) out”, which becomes the core plot holding this movie together (barely!). What ensues is what qualifies as the action-comedy genre.
Now keep in mind that Seth Rogen is no Ang Lee, but to his credit he never makes any claims to that fame. His list of movies is a bit off the ordinary track (This is The End, Pineapple Express, Superbad, Knocked Up, Jump Street series etc.) and they aren’t exactly Oscar material, but they do find their niche in this market. James Franco on the other hand has done it all, from the highs of 127 hours to the lows of Deuces Wild. Now to his credit, the movie doesn’t require him to have any real talent and he does end up as a bit annoying but I guess that is what the role demanded him to do. The chemistry between Franco and Rogen is flawless and they always work well together, exude good cheer and continue to tweak their personas in this very amusing, very imbecilic film. I must make a mention of that fact that two of the best and most integral performances come from the Asian actors – Randall Park as Kim Jong-un (of Veep fame) and Diana Bang as Kim Jong Un’s Minister of Information, Sook.
The movie is the typical mass produced, philistine, comedy that Hollywood cranks out to appeal to teens and tweens. There are a few slapstick laughs and a couple of very “Oh-I-can’t-believe-you-said-that” dialogues that break the monotony of a movie definitely made for those who smoke the questionable stuff. I would not elevate the film to the level of a satire as that would imply that there was some perspicacity in it.
Having said all that, we know that this movie is in no way perfect, but it does have its moments. Yes, the movie is overloaded with toilet humor and profanity, but it does not necessarily make it a bad movie. Most of the comedy involves a peculiar and persistent strain of gay panic, endless jokes about having things shoved up your butt and I think rarely outside the playground has there been this much giddy conversation about the digestion process, but there are bits and parts when you will manage a chuckle and a giggle and I guess that makes it worth it.
No one will win an Oscar nomination here, the story is predictable and at times the jokes are more toilet than humor but I think this is what Seth Rogen was aiming for. This movie doesn’t reach the heights of This Is The End (which I’ve begun to suspect is a modern masterpiece), but if you can make it through the first fifteen minutes you’ll be rewarded with a movie that’s allows you to sit down, grab a beer and enjoy its bits and pieces of humor. It is a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously, meaning you should not take it seriously. After all, Haters gonna hate, and ain’ters gonna ain’t.”