“It was a gift to my grandfather from Stalin.” “In my country, it’s pronounced Stallone.”
The Interview may be the most controversial release in recent memory, but that doesn’t mean you should see it. I made that mistake.
Firstly, the bromance of Franco and Rogen is still charming. As dysfunctional as the pair are, their relationship is something most people can only dream of. However, this charm can’t cover the film’s cavernous cracks.
The story plays with the same formula as all Rogen/Franco flicks: they are best of friends, then they fall out, then they’re friends again. The saving grace is that it isn’t quite as tedious as it sounds. Party-boy scenes are again included as they seem to be innate in films with Rogan and Franco, but are nothing to rave about.
The Interview has a weird contrast between trying to be respectful to some of society (homosexuality, feminism), whilst outright forgetting to be when deep in Pyongyang. It takes the time to include sentences such as “This is 2014: women are smart now!”, but is more than happy to imitate awful, stereotypical Asian accents on several occasions. At times the racist sentiment seemed to veer into propaganda-esque territory. Don’t expect The Interview to be at all accurate with anything that could ever perceptibly happen.
Also, The Interview’s dealing with Kim Jong-un wasn’t great. I enjoyed the vulnerable, human side they initially gave the leader, a scratchy portrayal of the man as a selfish, evil megalomaniac won out.
The film’s jokes on race are a little on the grating side, as is James Franco. One moment he will hit the comedy nail on the head, and the next he’ll be trying too hard, making a real hash of his scenes. Rogen is much more likeable throughout, without doing anything remotely new.
Yet, I did enjoy some of the film. Some jokes worked and were funny, but these were too few and far between. I also really enjoyed the first Fury-esque scene, but did not the second.
The Interview is like a roll of Fruit Pastilles; you have to go through all the rubbish colours, to enjoy the couple of good’uns. Though there are a few laughs to enjoy, there are too many uncomfortable moments to go through to properly appreciate them.