The Interview Review

Let me get right into this: in a way, “The Interview” will only be remembered for the amount of diplomatic controversy it caused upon its very limited release to the general public. This movie doesn’t break any new grounds and fails overall at being a poignant and noteworthy political satire. Movies such as “In The Loop” are brilliant at ironically poking fun at the obvious problems with international politics, but what makes them special is they manage to do so in a way that is intelligent in not only its humor but also its ability to maintain a coherent, well-written plotline. The storyline of the “The Interview,” at face value at least, has a lot of potential. Sadly, the normally on point Seth Rogen has penned one of his worst screenplays to date and causes a major pitfall for the film. This movie had a lot of potential to take a controversial topic and explore it in a satirical way that was not only amusing but also somewhat beneficial to the general public, but bewilderingly decides to throw away any sort of intelligence and replace it with mindless gags and jokes that are just as flat and simplistic as the storyline ends up being.

Yes, there are a couple of funny moments in this film and I found myself chuckling aloud on more than once occasion; however, immediately after I felt guilty at laughing because it was such a childish and irreverent joke. For the most part, especially during the middle third of the film, the script is entirely void of any resemblance of a worthwhile joke. We have seen some good comedy films come from Seth Rogen and James Franco (“This is the End” and “Pineapple Express” to name a couple), but this film doesn’t seem to even try to reach the level that those two aforementioned films do. It appears that a lot of Hollywood films nowadays are under this misguided assumption that comedy films don’t actually have to be that funny anymore. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’m supposed to laugh during a comedy film aren’t I? Movies such as “Shaun of the Dead”, “Ghostbusters”, “Monty Python” and “Borat” work so well because while they do many things well, at the core of the film they will always be comical. “The Interview” could be forgiven for its lack of ingenuity and strong plotline if only the jokes had actually been funny.

Ultimately, what we are given from this film is another half-hearted attempt from Hollywood to create a “comedy” film. The movie is predictable, generic, and lazy for a majority of the run time. The final third of the film just becomes down right silly and insulting to anyone that thought they were going to have a worthwhile movie-going experience. Something does have to be said for the chemistry between the two main leads; Rogen and Franco work so well together and each plays their roles with a particular ease and energy that has to be admired. At the end of it, though, that’s the only thing that the movie has going for it, and it just isn’t quite enough to save this movie from being a shipwreck.

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The Interview (2014) 1.5/4 stars

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