Review of “The Interview” – Rogen’s new film sealed and shelved for good?

by Julia Zdrojewski

In November I responded to one of Seth Rogen’s tweets that invited fans to watch his latest comedy “The Interview” with him over beer and popcorn. Rogen, beer, and popcorn all sounded like a good time to me, so needless to say- I was in.

I didn’t know at the time that I would be watching a movie that would then be cancelled from theaters all over the country with Sony Pictures shelving its release entirely over a series of threats from Internet hackers.

When the news broke regarding the hackers anger over the film, I remember thinking, “Did these people even see the movie?” Because yes, North Korea takes some hits in the film, but that’s probably tied with the number of hits that American media and journalists take in the film, which is probably way behind the number of hits that Seth Rogen and James Franco take in the film… (we’re talking bongs,people).

While it’s hard to believe that the film may never see the light of day, in case that fact remains true- here is a brief synopsis of what the film is actually about:

Rogen plays Aaron Rapoport, a TV producer for the celebrity-centered news show “Skylark Tonight” hosted by Dave Skylark (James Franco). Rapoport seems to be going through a life-crisis of sorts as he worries that his work has no real meaning or substance. After learning that Kim Jung-un (Randall Park) is a fan of Skylark’s, Rapoport sets out to arrange an interview between the two to heighten his credibility. Things are going according to plan, until the CIA’s Agent Lacey (played by former BUST cover girl Lizzy Caplan) gives them the additional job of having to assassinate Jong-un, and slight-hilarity begins to ensue. At one point, Rogen finds himself completely naked, surrounded by North Korean guards, with an important US capsule up his rear end. At another point, Skylark and Jong-un find themselves bro-ing out over their love of basketball, military tanks and Katy Perry’s 2010 hit song “Firework”…. Because why not.

The film definitely has a few funny moments and it tries to bring awareness to the human rights violations occurring in North Korea, but its important to note that the movie is not so much a political satire as much as it is the typical Rogen-Franco-pot-filled-film we’ve come to expect (which just happens to use actual names of relevant figures). There is no new information about North Korea in this film that cannot be found in an episode of HBO’s Vice, and there are no more biting jokes made about the country or its leadership that cannot be found in a viewing of “Team America”.

If I’m being honest “The Interview” is not my favorite Seth Rogen film (“Superbad”). Hell, it’s not even my second favorite Seth Rogen film (“This is the End”), but I do think “The Interview” starring Rogen, Franco, and Caplan is one that every American should be able to see, because this is America! It is our right to go see a film that is mediocre at best and tweet shit about it afterwards.  

So I’ll see you at the movies. Hopefully. 

Images via BizBeatBlog, Deadline, Hollywood Reporter & IB Times

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