The Interview DVD Review

Okay so here we have something a little different for a film that has now been pulled from cinematic release, then it was added back in and now is out on DVD. 

I think we should still be talking about it and luck of the draw is that we have two reviews of the film for you. Firstly from a female's perspective and then from a man's. This way you get quite the balance and while you can't watch the film yet... you can still get a good feel for it...

So first up 
Annie's Review 
Are you a teenage boy? 
Do you like toilet humor and mildly misogynistic penis penetration jokes, do racial stereotypes fly over your head with oblivious gusto and do you want to make sure you don’t miss out on the latest passing fad?
Then this is the film for you!

The Interview is an interesting film to review as pretentiously I feel privileged to be one of the few people to see this unreleased film, and seriously we all want to be a part of that elite group jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad that no one wants to be left out of. I am sorry but if you have not seen The Interview then you just aren’t in. But really couldn’t the content of this film be put across in a more respectable fashion?

On a more serious note I am not sure if you really do want to see The Interview. It is about as oxymoronic as you can get- a comedy set in North Korea- It is at its best a sidesplitting parody (if you like that kind of humor) and at its worst as a funny as a megalomaniac taking a dump on his starving population - but not everyone will get the joke, certainly not the people of North Korea and certainly not those harmed by the temperamental whims of a delusional megalomaniac.   

This film is making fun of a bad man and the people suffering because of him and we should not be provoking him in the name of ticket sales.

Every film offends somebody but the controversial premise in The Interview, plays with the dangerous unknown. The interview is simplistic wish fulfillment with Franco and Rogan more concerned with their bromance fantasies of saving the world than the real world implications of toying with a spoilt boy despot who presides over a starving population.

America-Team World Police- get to save the world again! “America Fuck Yeah” But since when does the US give into terrorism, because by not releasing this film that is exactly what this is!

The film underplays massive human rights violations and only acknowledges them for the purpose of comedy. But should we be laughing at North Korea’s starving population dictated by a cult of personality and his militaristic sycophants? The severity of these infringements on real people is lost through immature slapstick peppered with racial stereotypes, misogyny and cultural insensitivities. The gravity of the situation in North Korea will fly over the heads of an audience who find vulgar toilet humor amusing. But we should all still have the right to see this film, even if it is not that great! One only hopes that the Sony hacks and the nuclear threats will result in proper social concern for this boy deranged who wields such power over his people and now obviously the US.

This is a difficult film to review because the underlying topic is serious and based around human atrocities; this is a film that has heavy social implications to answer for! The mockery of the whims of the “Supreme Leader” was well done like when his love for small children is shown by the contrast of tiny children playing extremely large musical instruments. But this is a nation the world knows very little about, one of the most alien nations in the world. The Interview is entering and mocking dangerous uncharted territory. The film is correct in portraying Kim Jong-un as a crazed and unpredictable mad man and this in itself is dangerous territory as the implications are clearly not good. How can one film cause such a controversy for Sony Studios? Let’s hope that when people do see this film they take home the right message!

Although The Interview makes light of too many serious issues it does have some clever witty scenes but the laughs were not consistent as there were one too many vulgar slapstick jokes that became more predictable by the second. But this is the most grownup idea from Seth Rogan yet. Is he hoping to legitimize himself as a respectable film maker?  Perhaps the premise and Rogan’s character are analogues for his move into making films about topics that actually mean something? But like his character in the film, this is an issue too serious for jokers to take on and perhaps they have thrown themselves into water that is too deep.

The film had made headlines even before its intended release as it was marketed as being very ‘controversial’, with Sony Studios being hacked, nuclear threats from Kim Jong-un and now the film has been pulled altogether. But after seeing it I really don't see what the hype is all about. Sony Studios made use of this hype as an invaluable piece of free advertising to build up the reception and create the controversy surrounding the film- but the only controversy here is that they have made light of and made fun of a population of starving people. Kim Jong-un’s reaction is a testament to his fragile temperament and dangerous nature and one that we should obviously think carefully about playing with.

Not even Sacha Baron Cohen got a nuclear war threatened!

So who is the target audience for this film?  Initially I thought is must be teenage boys. But the hype has changed this as now audiences will go looking for a copy of The Interview by hook or by crook and a much more diverse audience than originally intended will now see this film.  This is what North Korea should be more concerned about… rather than the opinions and views of the originally intended audience of immature teenage boys. Sorry Kim…a lot more people will see this film now!

And what will the consequences be for Seth and James? Will they be held accountable, taken out, cause a nuclear attack, or have they set a new precedent with this film- One where America gives into acts of cyber terrorism?

I do recommend you see this film, just to establish for yourselves the measures studios will go to in the name of ticket sales and do see it soon as The Interview has a shelf life. Costume, music and jokes will have it old before the next year is out. This shelf life perhaps explains the need for all the hype?

Annie's Verdict
All offense aside this film is funny and Rogan and Franco hold nothing back in this lewd political satire. Let’s hope that at our best we get a social conscience about the atrocities taking place in North Korea and at its worse we all live to see another film from old Seth and his crew. 

Abox's Review
Is Rogan’s Josh about North Korean Leader too hot for palette?

The simple answer is no, as the Interview is both watchable and likable with a semi-believable plot,   some humorous laugh out loud moments, a great sound track and a must see opening scene involving Eminem.

The complicated and more politically correct answer is maybe? You can understand why some have taken offence to aspects of the movie and that there are moments where Rogan and Goldberg cut too close to the obviously sensitive North Korean bone. Let us hope that a restriction of first amendment rights do not last and that common sense prevails. 

With an estimated budget of over $40 million dollars Sony obviously trusted Rogan and Goldberg to deliver another successful movie and I believe they have done that. The question remains, when will the public get to see it?

If we believe Oscar Wild who commented that “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” or P T Barnum who stated “that there is no such thing as bad publicity” then the recent hacking scandal, the cancellation of the New York Premier and a delay in the movies’ release, can only fuel the public desire to see what all the fuss is about for themselves and have Sony executives smiling all the way to the bank…eventually.

The Interview is a solid comedy that will have you interested and entertained from start to finish. The plot although simplistic is original and thought provoking and could well have been made into a formulaic spy movie starring the likes of Pine, Hardy or Willis.
Thank you for comic genius.

Franco is outstanding as Dave Skylark and maybe we have seen the birth of the new Leslie Nielson as he effortlessly delivers a comedy performance that is both believable and emotional. For future reference and If you are reading this James, then please do more comedy as you have a talent for taking the audience right to the heart of your character. Franco is well supported by Lizzie Caplan and Randall Park who are both excellent in their roles as CIA Agent Lacey and Kim-Jung Un respectively. Caplan’s in particular, effectively merges the comic and dramatic elements of the movie whilst also providing one of the romantic sub plots along the way.

You are probably wondering why I am yet to mention Seth Rogan’s performance. The simple truth is and this may upset his die-hard fans, I am not a fan of his acting. Whilst he is undoubtedly a talented writer, producer and director his acting is somewhat wooden and adds no value to the overall end product. There are actors that could have taken the Rapaport role and the relationships he has with Skylark and Sook and turned a good movie into a great one. Sorry Seth you have a face for radio and talents suited for behind the camera.

Abox's Verdict
The Interview, like ‘The naked gun’, ‘Hot Shots' and ‘Happy Gilmore’ before it, will endure as an iconic piece of slapstick moviemaking. If you fancy a trip to the movies then look no further as this is certainly worth a watch. I hope you get the chance to see it and I dare you not to laugh! 

The Trailer