Charlie Chaplin wouldn’t do such a thing, they remarked, monocles popping from their sockets, but just because it’s not a smart dissection of Kim Jong-un’s regime doesn’t mean that The Interview is worthless. It is, thankfully, a laugh riot.
Franco plays Dave Skylark, a TV host more interested in paparazzi than papers, and Rogen plays his best friend and long-time producer Aaron Rapaport, who is happy in his successful bubble of work, but laments the fact that they aren’t dealing with bigger stories like some of his peers. Everything is going swimmingly for the show as it hits 1000 episodes, and then they discover their most famous fan in the world, Kim Jong-un, and take it upon themselves to secure an interview with the dictator.
The CIA hear word and recruit them to use this interview as a way to kill Kim, everyone is on-board, until Dave meets Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and they bond, they laugh, they share a love of Katy Perry’s Firework, and thus the entire mission is in jeopardy.
The Interview skirts away from a lot of the talking points with regards to North Korea and Kim himself, perhaps feeding an uncle to a pack of dogs isn’t a great topic for laughs, but it is clear that the film has no intention of going in-depth about Kim’s ways and style of ruling, as far as our Western eyes can tell. This does hinder The Interview a bit as most of the film is set within the walls of Kim’s castle, with only fleeting glimpses of the fake North Korea set–up for the likes of Skylark and Rodman, but there’s a lot of great moments in the film that take away the feeling of vapidness and easy footing.
From the moment the twosome step into the compound, hiding a stick of ricin in a chewing gum container, so many silly goofs and enjoyable diversions and set-pieces take place that have you in pure fits of laughter, the likes you rarely experience in any film.
For a comedy, it is strange that act one is a little lacking in big laugh moments, but they save so much for acts two and three that it feels ok that a lot of character and story have been sorted out before, and we can just enjoy the insanity that arises in the final 20 minutes.
Franco’s ego-centric buffonary is hugely enjoyable, whilst Rogen’s straight man is a great foil, and Randall Park’s Kim is a joy to watch. Diana Bang, who plays North Korea’s head of propaganda, essentially, has a hugely enjoyable arc, and a lot of great scenes all over the film.
It’s a shame the movie didn’t open wide in America as Park and Bang would have broken out in a much bigger way, but now it’s coming to the UK and we can appreciate the film for what it is, not what we think it should be based on news, perhaps they can get the recognition they deserve.
The Interview is a top-notch follow-up to This Is The End, hysterical, silly, big dumb fun that makes for a great night out with your friends, a packed house and Firework pumped up to the loudest volume possible.