The Interview: Taken Out of Terrorist Oblivion…And It Is Funny

Still of Rogen and Franco in The Interview

The Interview has been taken out of terrorist oblivion and is now streaming for your viewing enjoyment. Sony decided to take the extra step of having the film available on Xbox, Google Play, YouTube and the Sony website. Apple declined to show the film via iTunes, presumably still smarting from the “iCloud” hack earlier this year. Amazon also decided to keep the film off their site, obviously wary of any cyber terrorist activity that could cost the company in terms of non cinematic sales.

President Obama is, according to reports, very happy that Seth Rogen and “James Flacco” are able to show off their darkly comic assassination of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un at last. Fortunately for both Sony, Columbia, Rogen, and the rest, the film is brilliantly funny.

The feature is a blend of slapstick, almost, and silly comedy.  Think Pineapple Express mixed with Neighbors with a touch of This is the End and you will get close to the type of humor on offer. Of course the film does veer off and go beyond blackly comic, wait till the scene with the helicopter and the tank comes on, or even Rogen’s character providing the filling for some finger sandwiches.

For fans of these two actors, there was never any real doubt that the combination of the script and the two performers would not deliver comic ganja dude! How can viewers not find the Matthew McConaughey “f***ing a goat” scene  hysterically funny? That entire sequence was stupidly comic and then the film heads into the sublime when Rogen’s character, Rapaport meets the North Korean representative “Sook” and after arranging the interview and the chopper takes off,  Rogen begs for some water.  “I did not plan well for this trip ,” he screams before a tiny bottle of water is tossed from the helicopter to land at his feet.

The movie, deals with the entertainment industry and its red headed step children, talk shows. Rogen’s character is the “serious journo”  and the producer of Dave Skylark’s (Franco) show. The two men set up the interview with Kim Jong-un and part of the magic of this film is the sneering reaction from other “serious” television journalists.  Played by the real people, like Bill Maher, for instance.

While The Interview is delightfully funny, its humor has been overshadowed somewhat by the cyber terrorists who threatened so much violence toward cinemas and their customers that AMC, Regal and Cinemark, amongst others, cancelled their showings and Sony initially panicked with the result that they shelved the picture, “indefinitely.”

After getting the old “tsk, tsk” from the president of the USA, and a generous and brave offer from the art house cinemas of America, Sony changed their mind. So some lucky people will see the movie in the theatre and others, like myself, will watch it via the Internet (in this case from Google Play).

Perhaps the only complaint is that the music feels a little close, in some instances, to the soundtrack used by Kim Jee-woon’s The Good, the Bad, the Weird.  Even the shootout sequence later in the movie has music that feels like it was lifted from that 2008 film. Perhaps it was and Goldberg and Rogen meant it as a sort of homage. This little complaint does not spoil the film, as the music does fit very well.

How good is the film? Well let’s just say that I loved it so much that after paying out a hard earned $5.99 (repeatedly watching it till my laptop crashed – Is that you Kim?) that I then turned around and bought the film for $16.99, without special features that I am so addicted to. That’s how good it is. But don’t take my word for it, watch it and see what you think.

By Michael Smith

 

 

Sony Hack: The Interview and Terrorist Film Critics

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