First off, the acting. Seth Rogen, once again, plays himself in this movie. I say that like it's a bad thing, but it's not. I enjoy Seth Rogen personally. I wish he would try to put himself out there in a more dangerous role, but I don't mind him continuing to make safe parts for himself. But then there's James Franco. He is screen-hogging the hell out of this movie, and it was very distracting and quite unwelcome. This movie and his performance will only continue to add to the James Franco hate that already exists out there. Now I know he was screen-hogging in This is the End too, but then it was quite welcome because he was making a parody of himself. Here it appears he's not being a parody of himself, and that's where the unwelcome screen-hogging came in. Oh well. The supporting cast is sadly underwhelming, short of Randall Park as Kim Jong-Un. Park is the only person asked to to do much of anything from an acting standpoint, and he delivers easily the most memorable performance of the movie. Rogen and co. asked a lot of Randall Park, and he most certainly delivered. However, I'm sad to say that Lizzy Caplan and her CIA counterparts have very little material to work with here, and her role is reduced to merely cheerleading on the sideline. Seriously! Ok, let me give you a quick example: at one point, North Korea is getting ready to use its nukes, (it's in the trailer) and then there's a shot of the CIA literally just standing there yelling at Rogen and Franco for whatever reason or another. Hey guys! Shouldn't we worry about the nukes that North Korea is getting ready to fire? No? We should just keep yelling at Franco and Rogen for unrelated things, right? Ok, cool.
And that's my biggest problem with this movie: this movie sets up some very potentially serious moments, but then resolves them with very silly resolves. For example, in the interview itself (spoiler: there's an interview of Kim Jong-Un in The Interview! WHOA) the gang sets up a very interesting line of questioning for Un as they try to make him slip up. But then, instead of further going down this path, they resolve this plot line with a pop culture reference. I don't know. Maybe it's my Newsroom side coming out, but I would've really liked this moment and many others that are set up with very serious and legitimate plot points to not be resolved with silly pop culture references or other silly things. I mean think about This is the End. The apocalypse is a very serious matter, and they do treat it fairly seriously in the final act while still throwing in jokes to keep you laughing. It became a drama with a side of comedy. That's where The Interview fails. It sets itself up to be a drama with a side of comedy, but then chooses to keep itself a comedy with a side of drama.
Here also is where my rule of comedies will once again come out: if the movie makes me laugh, then I can't hold the plot flaws against it. And while there were quite a few misses with the humor, there was also quite a few hits. But, at the end of the day, this movie is merely good. The stories surrounding the movie are absolutely far more sensational than the movie itself. And while I still look forward to what Rogen, Franco, and Goldberg have to offer next, I will also send them a warning: it's time to mix things up, guys. Your formula is starting to wear thin on me. Consider yourself warned.
The Critique: plot holes-a-plenty are not enough to take away from a good comedy. Silly at best.
The Recommendation: I mean, how can you not watch this movie? Just do it to say you did.
The Verdict: 7/10 Good
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