I guess we’ll never now how much of the craziness surrounding this movie at the end of last year (the threats, Sony Pictures deciding to pull out of a cinema release, their claim to want to bury this movie forever, and then their decision to put it out on VOD after all) was genuine, and how much of that was just a clever publicity stunt. However, there’s no denying that whatever it was, it was incredibly effective, making a lot more people interested in seeing the movie that there arguably would have been without all that commotion. Hell, they practically made watching “The Interview” a civic duty for everyone, in order to make a stand against terrorism and for freedom of speech. As for myself, I wouldn’t have needed all that; I was interested in “The Interview” as soon as it was announced. And after I finally saw it in the middle of february (over here, it actually got a regular theatre release), the thing that was on my mind first and foremost was: So this is what all the fuss was about?
Ultimately, “The Interview” is nothing more (or less) than a silly and harmless comedy, hardly deserving of the outrage that it allegedly got, and the stir it seems to have caused. It doesn’t have any sort of political agenda; it simply wants to entertain. A goal that, as far as I’m concerned, it mostly achieved. While I still think that “Superbad” is the best thing Goldberg & Rogen have done so far, and I’d also rate “This is the End” above “The Interview”, it was a decent enough comedy with a couple of very funny scenes. One of its problems was that I didn’t much care for the characters, especially naive-as-hell Dave Skylark. I also think that whenever they tried to get a little bit more serious, like with the argument between Dave and Aaron, they mostly fell flat on their faces. The whole movie is also extremely predictable. And, like with most comedies, not every gag hit home with me (for example, the Tiger-scene was a little bit too silly for me). The biggest drawback, however, was the beginning, which dragged along a bit. I don’t think that it was necessary to have such a long introduction. Rogen and Franco just play variations on a well-known theme here, so one could argue that we already know Dave and Aaron anyway.
However, once they finally arrive in North Korea, the movie gets funnier with every passing minute. I loved the portrayal of North Korea and how they try to trick Dave and Aaron into thinking that everything’s going great in their country. The movie especially comes to life after Kim Jong-un is introduced, who is played to great comedic effect by Randall Park. There are a couple of hilarious scenes, and I especially enjoyed how Dave and Kim seemed to bond – until Dave finally notices that his new best friend is a complete maniac. The best part of the movie for me, by far, was the last third, where they really ramped up the humor. I especially loved the showdown, where they pulled no punches, and which features one of the best uses of slow motion (not to mention Katy Perry’s “Fireworks”) in recent memory. That scene was absolutely genius. But as much as I think that it’s always better if a movie starts weak and finishes strong, instead of the other way around, I can’t completely dismiss the fact that they could have afforded to lose 10-15 minutes, especially in the first act, in order to speed things up a bit. Overall, “The Interview” is not an instant comedy classic, but it offered a couple of very funny scenes, and managed to entertain me well enough.