Going In

I dig Seth Rogen. Even though he plays approximately the same character in every one of his movies, he hasn’t gotten old yet.  And I liked the previous installments of the Rogen/Franco trilogy: Pineapple Express and This Is The End.

Review

The Interview tells the tale of a host/producer duo of a successful tabloid talk show who yearn for their show to be more about real news. They get an opportunity to travel to North Korea for an exclusive interview with dictator Kim Jong-Un. They are recruited by the CIA to undertake a clandestine mission to assassinate the leader, but their misgivings and lack of spycraft puts the goal in repeated jeopardy.

A stoner movie without the weed, this film serves up exactly what you’d expect: Seth Rogen and James Franco do their charming buddy-buddy schtick that we’ve grown accustomed to. There’s a heaping scoop of gross-out humor, a smorgasbord of drug references, and all accompanied by some very stale Lord of the Rings that might have been funny 5 years ago.

But giving the audience exactly what they expect is also the film’s downfall: The Interview suffers from being too predictable. I felt like I was 3 steps ahead of the plot at all times, and it always ended up where I imagined. There was nothing surprising, except the level of controversy achieved by a film so rooted in banality.

The Interview was shut out at the Oscars, but it deserves some kind of environmental award for the sheer volume of recycled jokes. I’m certain they threw out the “honey-potting”/”honey-dicking” line more times than Irish F-bombs were dropped in In Bruges.

I also have to deduct a couple of points on principle for getting Katy Perry stuck in my head.

I loved the concept of the story, and it’s a shame it got such a ho-hum treatment. It could have been a winner if it had a smidgeon of the intelligent writing that goes into any 30-minute South Park episode.

Conclusion

The Interview got a ton of media hype after the Sony hack and subsequent release controversy. In hindsight, this makes sense since there’s nothing in the film’s contents to get hyped up about. It’s a solid R-rated buddy comedy if you’re in the mood, but it’s just a time-passer: nothing new here.

Move along.

The Interview Review
Storytelling4.5
Craftsmanship5.5
Performances7
Satisfaction5
The Good
  • Asian Jim Halpert is no longer typecast
  • I, too, fantasize about driving a tank
  • Rogen + Franco still make a cute couple
The Bad/Ugly
  • Repetitious jokes
  • Pop culture references past their expiration date
  • Franco's face starting to betray his mileage
5.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Justin

I'm a video game programmer, just like Chev Chelios. I've loved movies all of my life, favor substance over style, and try to have high standards and an open mind.

  • http://mastercritic.com/ Tim

    You summed up my feelings pretty accurately here. The only thing I’ll add is that I thought the actor playing Kim Jong Un, Randall Park, was pretty funny. I’m looking forward to checking out his new sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat… although I think I’ve already missed an episode.

    • Justin

      You’re in luck, then, because it’s on Hulu.