Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Interview

The Interview is known mostly for North Korean pressure stopping its wide release in theaters. The controversy that followed brought attention to a throwaway cheap-laugh comedy that would have otherwise been quickly forgotten. The script by Dan Sterling is part Spies Like Us and part Saturday Night Live skit as the star (James Franco) and producer (Seth Rogen) of a talk show get an inclusive interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park). The pair are quickly approached by the CIA who attempt to use the opportunity to kill Kim by turning a pair of complete morons into assassins without proper training or back-up.

Franco and Rogen are funny guys but they're just going through the motions of various gags (including a surprisingly bloody action sequence). In someone else's hands the premise might have led to a subversive satire but its clear Rogen and company only care about stuffing the film with as many cheap laughs as possible with the Franco-Rogen bromance in full swing complete with several dick jokes and multiple discussions of hiding spy gear up Rogen's ass.

While not a bad film (its almost exactly what I expected it to be after its first trailer), The Interview is certainly nothing special and likely far less funny than what I can only assume was the stoner brainstorming that inspired its creation. The film's extras include commentary from Rogen and Evan Goldberg, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a collection of short featurettes of various aspects of the film including it's stars and directors, animals used in the film, and the uses of nudity and improv while filming.

[Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD $14.99 / Blu-ray $19.99]

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