It's impossible to look at this movie without the surrounding controversy. I was opposed to Sony's choice to scrap this from day one. I understand that this sort of threat had couldn't just be ignored, nor could we put armed guards at every single movies theater in the country. Still, as much as I hated the cliche, I felt like pulling the movie meant "the terrorists won" and it pissed me off. That being said, I felt it was my duty as an American to watch this movie, North Korea be damned, bring it on Kim Jong-un.

If you don't know the plot, you must've missed out on the news cycle at the end of last year. A soft-news journalist is chosen by Kim to be the first American to be granted an interview. With that information, the CIA approaches the journalist and his producer and asks them to take advantage of the situation and assassinate the leader of an enemy nation. When you really look at it, it's a messed up idea for a movie in that it's about a real person. It could have been a million times easier to just make up some country with a tyrannical megalomaniac leader, leave subtle-or-overt references to North Korea all while winking and saying "but it's not North Korea, everybody, we promise".

There was a "conspiracy theory" that floated around with the notion that the Korean controversy was created by the production company, because they felt the movie was going to bomb (pun sort of intended) at the box office. I can actually see some of what they were talking about. Nothing in the movie really stands out from prior Rogen/Franco movies. It's the sort of thing that simply feels like someone wrote it while they were high. It's like the pitch meetings started off with an idea, everyone got higher and higher and started adding crazier and crazier stuff.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy myself, but even knowing it couldn't live up to the hype, I still felt it was a bit flat. The great comedic moments did pop up from time to time, but a lot of moments seemed to be shrugged off, even by the characters. Seth Rogen worked for me as the version of the 'straight man', the guy who tried to take things seriously while James Franco's egotistical show host went crazy. Something about Franco just didn't work; I don't think it's the influence of his real life creeping in, because I generally find the crazy things he does to be entertaining. It's just in this moment that I felt like he was acting like he was supposed be James Franco being eccentric.

I understand that some people got upset when a world leader was murdered in a comedy movie. I understand that the 'world we live in' is dangerous and we can't ignore threats. Still, when it comes crashing down and it hurts inside, you gotta take a stand, it don't help to hide. Be a Real American, and watch this damn movie.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "The Interview" gets a 6 out of 10.


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