By: Jake Turner (Four Beers) –
Before I get to this review. Let me say that the Sony hackers, whether it was North Korea or laid off Sony employees trying to get back at them by… fear mongering, were incredibly disrespectful, and for theater owners (while they have the right) and Sony Pictures to pull the movie was gutless.
You have done a lot worse.
Films are for escaping from real life and exploring fantasy. Writing reviews is part of a passion and to bring out unique writing that has the guts to praise or criticize a film is the goal. Why? Because we love talking about movies. The members here at Movieboozer share the same passion that I do when I get in front of my laptop and type away.
Speaking about that, I had the luck to see the “history” of the banned film, The Interview. As the credits rolled, I reacted the way I always do. Got up of my seat, walked out the exit, asked a couple people how they liked it, and sat in my car.
This time, though, was different. I reacted in confusion and tried to see what the hell got North Korea so uptight over this film.
All it was was another stupid comedy peppered with satire trapped in a vortex of toilet humor. Translation: A Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg production.
I cannot lie that James Franco and Seth Rogen have terrific chemistry, bouncing off one another effortlessly and spouting off one-liners with no worries of controversy. Ever since I saw Rogen/Franco in Pineapple Express, they were worth the price of the ticket.
From the first ten minutes of this film I enjoyed their making fun of talk show hosting from behind and in front of the camera including Franco channeling Scott Pelley’s seriousness as TMZ-inspired talk show host Dave Skylark with hilarious results, including a hysterical cameo by Eminem, while Rogen as Skylark Tonight producer Aaron Rapaport helping the breaking news go off with a hitch.
Props also to Randall Park (who gained 20 lbs for the role) who brought the laughs as Kim Jong Un, making him a huge Skylark Tonight fan and satirizing the dictatorship of North Korea, as well as the great scenery where they shot most of this- in the wilderness of Vancouver, Canada.
Think about this. Cameo in 23 Jump Street. Epic.
However, this movie is a mess. The premise is a sellout talk show host will interview North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and the FBI thinks it’s the best time to assassinate him. How can you mess that up?
Easy. Split up Rogen/Franco, which puts the movie in a tough spot. Do not get me wrong, but Franco was not himself without Rogen in some of his own scenes. The jokes fell flat and he was trying like the Energizer Bunny to spark up anything.
It did not work.
This was true as well with Rogen when he was trying to do something serious or romantic with Sook (Diana Bang), a North Korean woman who was the dictator’s second hand. They also wasted Lizzy Caplan’s time as a one-note FBI agent.
Why is it that every time I walk into a Rogen/Goldberg production they become lazy and throw in a stack of toilet humor jokes that reach up to the ceiling? Seriously, I saw it in This is the End, Neighbors, and of course in the worst movie of 2012 (in my opinion), The Watch. However, they are at their laziest when they continue to deliver one joke endlessly in a repetitive way. It feels like they ran out of material early in production and tried to just make it work.
Once again, Rogen/Goldberg fail in the director’s chair for the third time. Witnessing one hell of an ending with its toothless way of filming action sequences and comedy at the same time had my eyes rolling. Screaming as loud as you can and endless crying just shows the lack of wit in your own product.
They banned the wrong one.
The Interview was banned in a wrongful and knee jerk reaction. Why? I do not know. All I saw was a toothless satire that relied more on toilet humor and screaming than witty writing, even if Rogen/Franco did make a good team throughout and delivered a couple good laughs. I just wish Rogen/Goldberg would step out of the director’s chair.
This interview is over.