This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Eric Robinson.
Despite recent controversy, “The Interview” is not a film that seeks to make any profound statements about international politics, journalism or even North Korea.
It’s just a silly movie.
This is apparent as the first encounters between television host David Skylark (James Franco) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) unfold. A more sophisticated comedy might wring some clever jokes out of the arrangement, but “The Interview” takes the easy route, with the pair partying in the militarized society and making crude jokes about their genitals and Katy Perry.
A smarter version of “The Interview” would not necessarily be a better film. As juvenile as the humor of directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen is, their films usually work, whether it be the hilarious insanity of “This is the End” or the touching honesty of “Superbad.”
Which is to say “The Interview” is one of the worst filmmaking efforts by Goldberg and Rogen. Scenes scattered with hit-or-miss jokes drag on for much longer than they should, and the basic relationships between characters feel rather uncooked. Even Franco is a liability as his loud, abrasive performance becomes obnoxious rather than funny.
But the film is not completely devoid of value. Park’s performance as Kim Jong-un is a unique piece of acting that simultaneously mocks and embodies his real-life counterpart. A few scenes even display glimmers of the fantastic absurdism of Rogen’s previous films, whether it be the odd interview with Eminem or a crazed tank battle.
It’s unfair that “The Interview” was embroiled in this controversy, as it only created inflated expectations for a film that does not even attempt any bold political satire.
And even when viewed as a nothing more than a farce, the sporadic laughs and overall shoddy performances fail to allow “The Interview” to serve its intended comedic purpose.
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplain, Diane Bang
Available virtually everywhere but Regal Entertainment and AMC Entertainment theaters.