Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Interview: Movie Review


Hapless idiots plot to kill a foreign leader and kill too much of the comedy along the way.
The Interview sets up our two hapless idiots Dave Skylark (James Franco) and Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) as they travel to North Korea to assassinate President Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) at the request of the CIA. What sounds like a completely ridiculous, off-the-walls comedy turns into a subtle comedy focusing on character motivations with unnecessary action. While it isn't a bad result, it is disappointing considering how funny its potential was. 2014

Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Screenplay by: Dan Sterling

Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco

Our two lead characters were very simply crafted but singular motivations work best for comedy. Dave Skylark is the popular host of an entertainment show and he just wants to be famous and want people to respect him for being famous. Aaron is Dave's producer (and best friend) and likes to think of their entertainment show as serious news journalism. He wants to actually accomplish something and have people respect him for that.

Dave (James Franco) and Aaron (Seth Rogen) in Columbia Pictures´
THE INTERVIEW © 2014 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Enter Kim Jong Un who loves American pop culture and Dave's show in particular, granting him the first ever interview from North Korea. Aaron thinks this is the perfect opportunity to do a serious news interview, Dave thinks this is perfect opportunity to raise his popularity, and the CIA thinks these two idiots need to assassinate the North Korean leader. The movie for some reason thinks now is an appropriate time to limit the comedy. Only a handful of jokes are made about the CIA hiring two idiots to murder a foreign leader, and most of them were in the trailer.

However once Aaron and Dave land in North Korea, the film steps up its game with beautiful cinematography and basic human nature. The North Korean landscape was perfectly photographed (somehow British Columbia, Canada is an able substitute) with the majestic mountains in the background and a very rigid, military type approach to the cement buildings which meld together to give the film a very fitting and unique style. We also meet actor Randall Park as the notorious leader who adopted a very non-caricature approach and presented Kim Jong Un as a person, like Dave Skylark, who craves fame and will manipulate himself and those around him so he can see himself the way he wants to be seen.

The comedy slows down significantly as Dave and President Kim bond over similar ideals and Aaron falls in love with a Korean woman. The impending interview has all the makings of a perfect comedy climax but unfortunately it devolves into a blood-filled, finger-eating action movie.

There were sprinklings of brilliant comedy found throughout the movie, continuing themes of manipulation (which was handled brilliantly), and even photographed with a beautiful and intriguing style, but those things aren't supposed to be in a ridiculous comedy about hapless idiots killing a foreign leader. Ultimately The Interview seems a little long with less comedy than expected and action sequences which don't belong in a well written movie.

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A Million Ways To Die In the West (2014) - Funny when it's parodying the west, less funny when the plot drags on.

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