The Interview Review


Jake Standerfer, Staff Writer

A hacking scandal, with the FBI, secret agents, and loads of leaked Sony information, all leading to a dramatic media conclusion that brewed a maelstrom of almost prophetic expectations for The Interview. The situation as a whole prodded doubt in my mind upon the actual quality of the film that may have nearly prompted World War III.

Seth Rogen and James Franco have a history of slapstick comedy work, and that really shows itself in The Interview. However, it’s possible to say that there is more to discuss related to the circumstances surrounding this film than there is in relation to the movie itself. As far as humor itself goes, the movie hits the spot for a certain audience. Seth Rogen has gained quite a following since his work with Superbad (2007) and continues to impress with laughable movies every few years. The attendees at these films have mostly grown to expect the quality and level of maturity in regards to Rogen’s comedic abilities that he is signature for, and that is where the major problem of The Interview comes in; a large number of its viewers are not cultivated or do not appreciate the consistently childish comicality of Rogen and his counterpart. They only came to see the reason behind the number one headline they saw in the news the past few weeks. But disregarding this, and looking at the film from the perspective of a true Rogen lover, it can really be analyzed and appreciated for what it truly is.

A two-way chemistry between Franco and Rogen defines a majority of the laughs that the film spurs. Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) is a sensibly professional producer of a tabloid news show, while Dave Skylark (Franco) acts as the very antithesis of Rogen’s character as the wackily sporadic and spontaneous host of the show Rogen runs. Somehow, the friendship exists despite the obvious contrast between the characters, and leads to plenty of laughable yet immature scenes.

The duo is enlisted to assassinate the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) after they land an interview with the man, and the mediocrely constructed plot follows. The sort of half-baked story, despite being what some would call “stupid”, completely serves the purpose of creating a nurturing environment for low-ball laughs. The film opens with a quotable scene featuring Eminem, and that sets the scene for the somewhat pop-culture oriented focus of the first third of the movie. Once the gang goes to North Korea, complications ensue, and the poison they intended for Kim ends up in the wrong hands. The complications that result from this define the remaining plot of the film.

The dynamic between Rogen and Franco rallies the movie at times, and when the two are separated for a length of time, the movie suffers because of it. The few laugh out loud moments presented always consist of the two and their bond.

All in all, this movie can only be enjoyably observed from one standpoint, and that is the one of an immense Rogen fan. “Dumb comedy” appeals to certain audiences, and is widely successful and humorous to individuals with certain tastes in comedy. The Interview serves as a textbook example of this, as its jokes feel deflated for a number of its current audience, while having others chortling in theaters or on their couches across the country, or anywhere in the world for that matter (except for North Korea). Whether one decides to see the “controversial” film themselves should not rely on obligations to the media, but on their opinion of past movies by Rogen and Franco.