After the whole Sony scandal that occurred late last year, I really didn’t think Rogen and Goldberg’s The Interview (2014) would make the cut onto the big screen. The typecasting of Rogen in several comical roles meant that there was no room for any actual political thought to develop from the film. Categorised as a political satire comedy, the film is a meagre 112 minutes long and full of the typical comedy and action genre conventions.
The cast includes cameos from Eminem, Rob Lowe, Guy Fieri, and Joseph-Gordon Levitt, to name a few, and with this, the film has a promising potential to turn itself into a comic spectacle. However, it is no more than an unnecessary embarrassment in the filmmakers’ histories. The film is merely comprised of several mid-shots of explosions, an uncomfortable sex scene, and a gruesome death.
The film is centred on Dave Skylark (James Franco) and Aaron Rapoport’s (Seth Rogen) trip to North Korea for a scripted interview with Kim Jong-un (not played by the real Kim Jong-un just FYI) and an underlying mission to terminate him. When the two arrive in North Korea, Kim Jong-un, a devoted fan of Dave Skylark, welcomes him on a tour of his home. Dave learns that Kim, like any other person, likes sexualising women, blowing stuff up, and drinking margaritas.
The script involves a mix of Korean and English lines—the translated phrases on screen epitomise the lack of understanding of the language. As a South Korean viewer it was awkward to hear my native language so heavily accented that it just sounded like your school principal trying to speak Te Reo. None of the Korean dialogue spoken in the film actually sounded Korean.
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Despite its many weaknesses, I can only give a subjective point of view. If you’re the type of person to wear a Native American Indian headdress to a costume party and you think sushi is the most oriental food you’re ever going to eat—you’re in luck, this film might just be for you. In contrast, if you’re the type of person who pays attention to the mise-en-scene and enjoys a good screening of your favourite Hollywood classic, I would definitely give this one a miss.
The only highlight for me was the puppy, because puppies are adorable.