So as I mentioned yesterday in my Spider-Man geek-out, I have finally got round to my plan of going on a film reviewing binge. I’ve selected twenty to thirty films from the past year, and have begun watching and noting everything about them, in the hopes that I can get something published in the student paper (whose culture editor I recently unknowingly befriended, and then was subsequently invited to a meeting by) and have something substantial to e-mail to the admissions people at Falmouth University for my potential postgraduate degree.
The first on this list is The Interview.
A Columbia Pictures Film, Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Released: 24th December 2014
Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park and Diana Bang
Review: In a time where Sony’s blunders are common knowledge, the viewing experience derived from watching The Interview is not all that surprising. A somewhat basic and mostly predictable flick, Rogen and Franco’s latest outing dances between moments of genuine hilarity and a somewhat miserable attempt at humor for which plot is sacrificed.
The Interview stars James Franco as Dave Skylark, a media personality who is known for his hugely popular show Skylark Tonight. So popular in fact, that it is revealed to be the favorite show of the Supreme Leader of North Korea. In a bid to help out his friend and producer, played by Roger, Skylark prepares to interview Kim Jong-Un, only to be confronted by the C.I.A., who want Skylark to use his unique opportunity to ‘take him out’.
‘To dinner?’, ‘for drinks?’, Rogen and Franco ask, in a scene that, although shorter than the clip that debuted online, still seemed to go on for far too long. And therein lies the problem. There are a huge array of moments within the film where the story could have benefited from a bit of bulking up, but that was forgone for some cheap laughs about ‘stink dick’, gay margarita’s and Kim Jong-un’s secret love of Katy Perry.
These mostly disappointing scenes are shot in the most basic format imaginable, with the most exciting camerawork being used as part of a joke that although amusing, doesn’t really warrant its return later on in the film. The camera is right to focus head-on on Rogen and Franco however, as they, along with it’s other two leads, Randall Park and Diana Bang, are some of the only redeeming features of the movie. The chemistry between the four of them is palpable, and although their characters are somewhat worn, the bromance between Franco and Rogen still tugs at our heartstrings. But unfortunately, this can only work for so long, as scene’s where they are separated see the pair’s characterization become a bit too extreme. Franco, although the source of the most laughs, seems a bit too unbelievably stupid at times, whilst Rogen, on the other hand, seems so determined with his characters want to move up in the production industry that he doesn’t even seem to want to be in this film.
Saying that, this is a film that I would definitely not trust to anyone else, as although they may have missed the mark on this occasion, it is clear that if this film were done by anyone other than the Rogen/Franco bromance, this film probably would have fallen even flatter. They had an interesting, if risky idea, a good cast and a budget that was obviously more than enough for what they wanted; perhaps next time a closer focus on story over a flurry of jokes might be better appreciated.
Good for some cheap laughs, some always-needed Franco and Rogen screen-time and perhaps the most adorable puppy you’ve ever laid your eyes on (it will kill you with its cuteness), The Interview is an okay film. ‘Okay’ being the optimum word.