We live in a world where two guys from Freaks and Geeks changed the political climate of the world with a movie filled with erection and poop jokes. How cool is that?
Anyway, The Interview stars James Franco as Dave Skylark, a talk-show host whose show strictly revolves around celebrity gossip. When North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) is revealed to be a fan of the show, the show’s director (Seth Rogen) sets up Dave and himself to travel to North Korea to get an interview with him. Before they leave, a CIA agent (Lizzy Caplan) arrives at Dave’s house to ask if he’d be willing to assassinate the dictator. Dave agrees.
Writer Dan Sterling didn’t let that genius premise entirely go to waste. There is some intelligent humor to be found under all the toilet humor. Yes, the movie is less satire and more “here’s 10 minutes of Seth Rogen shoving something up his ass”. While I admittedly chuckled multiple times at a lot of that humor, it’s the satire element of the movie that really hit me, and those moments don’t come as frequently as they should.
The movie isn’t a disappointment in that regard. Some of the “inappropriate” humor has its own shred of brilliance, but the film’s satire element is far more clever. Sounds familiar.
Aside from the fact that this movie got greenlit, what’s most impressive about The Interview are the film’s performances. James Franco does ham it up a teeny bit in the main role, but he absolutely kills it. He’s goofy and completely over-the-top which makes him such a joy to watch. Some may be annoyed by his character, but you can’t say that Franco gives a bad performance.
Seth Rogen gives your average Seth Rogen performance. He nails every comedic moment but he doesn’t get a chance to show off the acting chops all great comedic actors have.
One performance in this movie that is unfortunately underrated is Randall Park as Kim Jong-un. He can be absolutely hilarious and (in one particular scene) terrifying at the same time. It’s without a doubt the best performance the actor has given. Here’s hoping he has a breakthrough. The rest of the supporting cast (which is made up of Lizzy Caplan, Diana Bong, and more) all do a fine job.
The film’s satire element may be too overshadowed by toilet humor, but The Interview is certainly an above-average comedy with great performances from James Franco and Randall Park. Just don’t let the controversy hype you up too much.