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Monday, 23 February 2015

The Interview

Image result for the interview poster

"You two are going to be in a room alone with Kim, the CIA would love it if you could take him out."

I have to be honest here, I really didn’t want to review this film, I have been putting it off for as long as I can by talking about Spider Man and the Oscars but here we go. The reason for my reluctance was mainly because it is quite difficult to judge the Interview. Do I look at it as a bold statement on freedom of speech or do I just judge it as a film. If I were to judge it as the film that nearly started World War 3 I would have to say, I wish it was better.
Also, in answer in advance to any questions over why I’m only reviewing this film now when it has been on the internet for months, the answer is, not in Britain. The world wide web does not include us, or Sony does not include us. Either way it’s out in cinemas now so I can finally watch it and see what all the fuss is about.
A dim witted television host (James Franco) and his producer (Seth Rogan) who strives to make more important programming are enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong Un after being allowed to conduct an interview with the North Korean leader.
To be fair, saying I wish it was better is a bit harsh. What I mean is I wish the film to spark an international incident was more important than a silly comedy from the makers of Bad Neighbours and This Is The End. I would want a film that raises key political issues and one that is packed with thought provoking discussion and acted and directed in the best possible way. But instead it’s this. Controversy aside The Interview is probably still the weakest film from Seth Rogan in the last couple of years (better examples listed above).
Rogan and Franco’s chemistry shines throughout, given that Franco is more immersed within dramatic roles as well as comedic ones it’s good to see him provide the comedic relief out of the two. And simultaneously it’s Rogan that becomes the more sensible and clear minded of the two. But together they are immensely enjoyable to watch, with Franco really exceeding his previous expectations.
To the film’s credit and contrary to what I may have expected it actually satirises the USA just as much as North Korea, the fact that the supposed free-country that learned from Vietnam is doing exactly the same thing as it was fifty years ago but on a smaller level and with more secrecy, kind of like a communist state. They also have a fair bit to say about the media and the craze of every actions celebrities do. So in that sense it is quite clever throughout and the writing keeps the laughs coming, even if they are of a slightly poorer quality.
The entire tone does slow down a bit for the second half, and not in a good way. The Interview tries to dive into a pool of spy genre clich├ęs that don’t make the humour feel as original and start to drag down the pace as well. But things do pick up again for the finale but they don’t reach the highs of the first forty minutes (roughly, I guessed but that’s a fair estimate isn’t it). Overall the film does feel a bit distorted in terms of pace humour and general tone. As well as this a few jokes were being run into the ground after a while.
Like I said The Interview is not as good as Bad Neighbours or This Is The End which both offered better insights at generations, celebrities and friendship, though The Interview is on the same level the distorted nature of it makes it hard to pin down a singular message.
It may be on the same level as something like Spies Like Us but comparing it to the Great Dictator would be a stretch too far. Though it’s not worth the controversy it created, for the most part it’s enjoyable enough, more of a declaration of expression than a great comedy film.
Result: 5/10 

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