★★★ | The Interview

With the North Korean Government furious about the Hollywood comedy that dared to portray an assassination of their Supreme Leader, they hacked into Sony’s computers and scared the Studio to make them panic enough to withdraw the movie from all US screens before its release date on Christmas Day. Even President Obama pitched in to this unprecedented major public controversy, and so a few days later Sony relented and allowed the movie to be shown in a few theatres and online after all.

t’s not due in UK cinemas until February 6th but we had THEGAYUK’s Contributing Editor Roger Walker-Dack take a sneak preview to review the film and tell us if the fuss was really justified. Here is his report:-

If the North Korean Government hadn’t insisted on making this the most talked about movie this Christmas there is little doubt that this off-colour sophomoric comedy would have quickly passed through cinemas practically unnoticed by most of us. It’s crude and smutty humor that, like most movies that the actor James Franco is connected with these days, is overly obsessed with being ‘gay’, and it also relies heavily on his and the writers obvious fascination with anal matters too.

If you have been anywhere near a newspaper this past week you will know that this comedy is about a fictionalised attempt to assassinate Kim Jong-Un the Supreme Leader of North Korea. Mr. Jong Un felt so miffed at the idea that he may have had his people hack Sony’s computers and issue threats of dire consequences if the movie was shown. If only he had bothered to watch the film himself then I think if he would be outraged at anything, it would be much more about how the plot totally disintegrates towards the end and just sinks into a rather pathetic bloody battle giving the film a very unfunny finale.

Essentially its the story of a lightweight TV presenter Dave Skylark who fills his nightly talk show with ridiculous reality items but then one night the singer Eminem accidentally comes out as ‘gay’ and for once the show’s ratings soar. It whets the appetite of Adam the show’s producer who is desperate for more serious content, which they suddenly think, is possible when they discover in magazine that the North Korean Leader is a big fan of the show. He has refused interviews with the world’s press to date but agrees to grant one to his hero Dave Skylark. A fact that attracts the attention of the CIA who recruit both Dave and Adam with a request that they seize this unique opportunity to take the Leader out.

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The plan almost fails before it begins when nice-but-dim Dave decides to do things his way when they arrive in Korea, and then he changes his mind completely anyway after a day of male bonding with his new ‘best friend’ the ‘Kate Perry’ loving Kim. Adam meanwhile does some ‘bonding’ of his own with their ferocious female guide Sook and afterwards together they plot to sabotage the rather innocuous interview that Leader’s handlers are insisting on.

The movie is a reuniting of Seth Rogan (who also is a co-director and co-writer with Evan Goldberg) and James Franco after their first, and much superior comedy ‘This Is The End’ in 2013. The two have great screen chemistry together but the lion share of the laughs is left to Rogan who is much more at home in these frat-boy comedies than his co-star. The one thing Franco is good at however is over-acting which suits him to a tee in his role of the eager-to-please tabloid TV presenter.

There are a few good laughs … mainly at the Korean’s expense in this silly uneven comedy … and compared to something that is really offensive like ‘Borat’ in the end this is tame stuff that will very soon be forgotten, and in the end we are much more likely to remember the drama surrounding it instead.