At The Omniplex: ‘The Interview’ Doesn’t Go Well

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the-interview-movie-poster‘The Interview’

By John Lyons

Seth Rogen’s newest comedy venture made worldwide headlines last December when North Korea officially condemned the film, declaring it to be an “act of war”.

In the weeks to follow, an unknown source hacked Sony Pictures. There were implications of a terrorist attack, the film was temporarily cancelled and the North Koreans even called Obama a monkey.

I was sold on ‘The Interview’ long before all this controversy, largely due to the film’s silly premise: A celebrity talk show host (James Franco) and his producer (Rogen) attempt to gain credibility by securing an interview with elusive North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

There’s just one catch – the CIA have assigned the duo the task of assassinating the ‘supreme leader’ during said interview.

My anticipation for the film doubled once Rogen stated that he thought it was the best film they’ve made so far. And to be fair, the strength of the film’s trailers suggested that he may have been right.

Yet as it turns out, what’s great about ‘The Interview’ is the poster for the film. What’s not-so-great about the film is just about everything else to do with it.

As ridiculous as the premise of ‘The Interview’ is, what’s even more ridiculous is the execution.

Just like last year’s criminally unfunny comedy ‘Sex Tape’, ‘The Interview’ squanders a brilliant comedic premise by having little-to-no follow-up. And much like Rogen’s last film, ‘Bad Neighbours’, all the best material can be found in the trailers.

What we’re left with are jokes that mostly land flat on their face and the ones that do work are usually stretched out for way too long.

The characters are bland, one-dimensional and just plain absurd. The most frustrating of which is Kim Jong Un, who jumps back and forth from a cheerful fun-loving party boy to a crazy evil villain and then to an immature manchild.

It boggles the mind that the writers actually tried to humanise the character by giving him deep-seeded father issues.

A lot of the scenes feel incredibly forced and function only as a cheap method of conveniently moving the plot forward, ie. a completely unnecessary and unwarranted romantic sub-plot that comes out of nowhere.

No doubt ‘The Interview’ will draw many comparisons to ‘Team America’. Both are over-the-top films about a bunch of outlandish Americans trying to overthrow a caricature of an evil North Korean dictator.

One of these two films is very funny and very clever because it’s extremely well written. The other is ‘The Interview’.

Putting it simply, ‘The Interview’ is a big letdown because it’s just not funny.

And I don’t feel this way because I lack a sense of humour. Quite the contrary actually, having a good sense of humor is what allows me to distinguish between ‘The Interview’ and something that actually qualifies as comedy.

The film’s only redeeming quality is Franco and Rogen’s comedic rapport, which has been stronger in the past to say the least.

Having that said however, quite a few people I’ve spoken to liked the film, and argued that the sheer idiocy of Franco and Rogen’s characters added to the political satire immensely (whatever that means).

But just because elements of the film are idiotic by design doesn’t mean that the film itself can avoid being completely and utterly stupid.

‘The Interview’ has a sloppily written script posing as political satire that somehow made it into production.

Frankly it’s quite embarrassing to see an entire nation get up-in-arms about a film that’s trying to parody them. Especially when it can’t even do a decent job of it.


Follow John Lyons on Twitter: @Fireinthelyons

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