Movie: The Interview
My Rating: 3 stars
I think I’ve just about come to terms with the fact that I enjoy really stupid movies. And, I’m here to announce it to the world as an exercise in embracing all of my flaws. I went ahead and watched the much-buzzed-about, The Interview, and enjoyed myself much more than I was expecting to. So, I’m really glad the studio found a way to release this silly movie after they claimed that it would never see the light of day. Because, as much press as this movie has received for being really really dumb, I have to admit that I found myself laughing quite a bit. It was that kind of uncontrollable, gleeful giggling that lures people from other rooms in the house to see just what kind of illicit fun you’re having. And, that pretty much sums up my experience watching this controversial film.
A lot of ink has been spilled, debating the studio’s underlying motives for making this movie. But, after watching it, I’d have to say that it struck me as unquestionable a satire. Some people have said that it is disrespectful to even joke about the assassination of a sovereign in a work of entertainment, but isn’t that what free speech is all about?—the ability to make unpopular political statements without danger of being silenced by the government? Of course, you might still be a jerk for saying those things. But, Americans have been embracing that luxury for years. We’ve built industries on it. And hey, we Americans were remarkably good-natured about having our own leader assassinated-in-jest for the sake of entertainment when that Obama-lookalike had his head blown up in the recent Kingsman movie. So, I think we should all simmer down a little with the arguments that it’s natural for a nation to be outraged by such a depiction. Plus, we all know that totalitarian dictators—the very people we should be questioning about their political practices—are the fussiest customers when it comes to listening to public criticism. So, now that I’ve got all of that political ranting out of my system, I can move on to the silliness.
This movie really is full of delightfully ridiculous gags. And, even though I knew they were cheap laughs, I couldn’t resist. (But, I’ll warn you again about taking my word for any of this, because of my recent realization that I apparently enjoy garbage-movies). I love James Franco for the narcissistic, fashion-obsessed, celebrity, dimwit that he plays. Nothing has ever felt so true. And, Randall Park is absolutely inspired in his insecure, spoiled, puppy-dog portrayal of Kim Jong-Un. He actually humanizes this character (who we normally see as a monster) more than I thought he would. So, people who are claiming that this movie is purely a distasteful revenge fantasy about murdering a megalomaniac just haven’t watched it. But, that’s not to say that this is a thoughtful piece of writing by any means. Nope, it’s still just a lot of butthole and boner jokes. (This is Seth Rogen and James Franco after all). And, there are a lot of gratuitously grisly deaths. So, I’m not saying you should take this movie seriously at all. But, I am saying that it’s a bit more nuanced than the reports would have you believe.
It’s up to you to decide whether you should see this movie or not. I’m not going to go out of my way to recommend it to anyone. It’s really not that special. I can tell you that I had a fun time watching it. But, you probably already know for yourself whether you’ll enjoy this brand of raunchy, offensive humor. It’s silly and irreverent, and even pretty politically charged for all its rude jokes. But, I don’t think you have to feel morally conflicted about watching this movie if you decide do it. But, you do need to be willing to accept it for the off-color material it is.