Directors: Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Writers: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen and Dan Sterling
Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Eminem, Randall Park, Anders Holm
Studio: Columbia Pictures
“The Interview” is a mess of a movie, but its creators meant well. That’s the problem when you tackle real-life mass murderers and despots. You have to show some venom or else you’re wasting everyone’s time with a cartoon version. What makes things worse is when Franco and Park share a private scene in a tank as Dave Skylark and Kim Jung-un. The creative team’s choice to use Katy Perry’s “Firework” as a means to humanize the dictator is so symbolic of this movie’s faults. Kim Jung-un isn’t misunderstood or a loveable weirdo. He is a real person that is party of a dynasty of genocide. As an audience member, why should I give a damn what he listens to on his iPod?
Goldberg and Rogen are starting to earn my respect as filmmakers. “This is the End” was a great debut and I’m looking forward to their “Preacher” adaptation for AMC. That being said, “The Interview” was the eventual hiccup that they had to take as filmmakers. Frankly, if it weren’t for the SONY hack, this film would’ve died an even quicker death at the Box Office. Now, it’s a feature film that represents modern compromise in a way that won’t be topped for some time. Outside unseen forces kept calling the shots, while the creative handlers didn’t have any sense of what they wanted to make. Was it a comedic take down of Western Media? Was it a send-up of post 9/11 propaganda action movies? Was it an attempt to try and top “The Dictator”?
High concept comedy is finding a new foothold in the cinema. That being said, it doesn’t mean that every effort is going to shine. I applaud Rogen and Goldberg for giving it their best shot, but the movie peaked with Eminem’s brief role. If only the rest of the feature could show that sense of timing, staging and general flow…we’d have a certifiable classic. Unfortunately, what we have with “The Interview” is a future Trivial Pursuit question. The film is a fun oddity for the Holidays that will be gone long before your Pork Sweats fade.
B-movie action fans will enjoy Goldberg and Rogen’s ability to throwback to 80s action gore. But, the duo always feels like they tease you with a thumb being removed and then have to force cute puppy down your throat. Make up your mind on the creative choices, guys. I hate it when directors want to dip a toe into depravity, but never fully commit. Know the audience. Somehow, I feel like that lack of commitment is only going to grow from here.
RELEASE DATE: 12/25/2014