Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Interview (2014)

And here it is, the movie that almost ended Sony and put the world on a knifes edge...kinda. Actually it merely forced everyone to pretend to care about a movie no one was really bothered about in the first place. Alas the actions of North Korea gave the likes of Seth Rogen and co a massive following for a short period which eventually led to record breaking digital release sales for Sony and a lot of limelight. Yes in the end no one got blown one so far anyway, but many plans got exposed and a few people got humiliated.

So what is it? a silly comedy about James Franco and Seth Rogen travelling to North Korea to interview their leader...oh and kill him. Franco plays this slimy, cackling, money and fame obsessed talk show host who interviews celebrities mainly to expose secrets and grab headlines. Rogen is his best friend and the shows producer who...well lets be honest its basically Rogen being Rogen as usual, the man is a live action version of Fozzie Bear, no changes. I gotta be honest I found both of these characters to be rather unpleasant. Franco is genuinely a creepy evil looking guy (the grooming of an under age girl doesn't help) and here he really seems to fit this role too well if you ask me, just unlikable. On the other hand is it ever possible to see Rogen in a movie which doesn't involve him getting blind drunk and half naked in an overnight orgy montage?

The best thing about the whole movie is clearly Randall Park as Kim Jong-un who dials in a solid and strangely appealing performance. Now I was pretty sure I was not meant to like the North Korean leader in this movie, pretty sure he and his comrades were kinda the bad guys here. Yet there I was watching the movie and actually liking this guy!! I'm not saying I like the dude in reality but in this story Park plays him with such aplomb its hard not to feel for the guy. Hell I didn't really wanna see him get killed off truth be told, he was way more entertaining than the main duo.

Naturally it was pretty obvious that the one big gag would be the minute the two Americans idiots meet Jong-un he would turn out to be a nice guy instead of the monster he's made out to be. Sure enough he's a nice soft spoken guy who swears, has a sweetass collection of super cars, a tank (no surprise), sexy babes on demand, listens to Katy Perry and likes to play basketball. Basically he's a regular guy with a shit-tonne of money and biggie (or is he?). That whole angle was in my opinion totally predictable and too easy...but it worked and it makes for some of the best moments in the movie. The clear as day twist in the character towards the end doesn't even require explanation, surely you all know how it will go.

Aside from that what else is there? well all the usual stuff you'd expect from a movie with Seth Rogen in it...did I mention the half naked drunken orgy montage? Yep toilet humour aplenty my friends, crapping your pants, vomiting, eating ricin accidentally, shagging one of the female North Korean military officers and having her be a closet raging pervert, smuggling objects in Rogen's ass, biting off fingers, girls with big guns (objectifying women) and eventually an overblown bloody gun battle. Oh and lets not forget the obligatory mystery of whether Rogen is actually laughing, speaking or clearing his throat during scenes, I can't decide.

I guess you can call this a political satire but I don't think its that clever. Yes it targets the celebrity obsessed media of our modern age and the stereotypical money hungry moguls that dwell within it, but there's nothing new or clever there. They were doing that with the stereotypical money hungry 80's Wall Street yuppie types back in the day, our era is all about the celebrity infatuation. As for North Korea they don't really satirise the People's Republic but merely parody what they think they know...and like I've said its all very childish and predictable.

End of the day, call me a pot stirrer but I can understand to a degree why the North Korean hierarchy objected to the movie and I am still amazed how Rogen and co got away with making it in the first place. Still I also can't help but think Jong-un may well be secretly quite chuffed and flattered by the movie...behind closed doors (gotta uphold the hardass reputation eh). After all he is suppose to be a movie lover and having an adult comedy made about you which isn't actually that bad (making you out to be reasonably sick despite you being a communist dictator) is still pretty cool. I wonder how Putin would react to a similar movie about himself?