The Interview–Crude, Gross and yes, Funny

the guardian( We found this unexpectedly on Netflix streaming and it saved us from having to see it at 10 am or midnight at a local theater. Ordinarily we, like many people we know, wouldn’t have bothered but of course with all the hoopla, we felt we had to watch it. This will not be a political review but I do have to say that if a rogue nation decided to make a funny film about killing say, Obama, I might be annoyed, although not to the extent of threatening the moviegoers. Would that they had a sense of humor! After all, remember Macbird?

LBJ_MacBird2( Plenty of controversy but no murders over it. Let’s, however, look at the movie aesthetically. It is incredibly crude, gross, stupid and often funny with plenty of bathroom and lunchroom humor. I’d say the only time the movie falls down is when it starts being serious; then it commits the worst crime of all—it becomes unfunny.

little girl( From the moment the film opens at a large public gathering with a sweet little North Korean girl singing a touching little song about killing Americans, you know you’re in for it, but it’s so offensive as to come out on the other side. There are many unforgettable lines like, “When you get Bin Laden or Hitler or Un, you do the interview,” and “This tank was a gift to my grandfather from Stalin” and “you put the missile where?”

tank( It’s sort of like Un doing an interview with Mad Magazine.

You all know the plot but I’ll try not be a spoiler. The CIA want them to assassinate Un, but the rehearsal goes badly as they are the world’s most incompetent assassins. It’s all right though because their CIA handlers give them instructions by phone in their apparently unbugged rooms.

Interviewer Dave Skylark, played by James Franco, finds out that Un is really a fun kind of guy, that “he’s not evil just born into a hard situation,” while his buddy, producer Aaron Rappaport, played by Seth Rogen,

rogen and franco( falls for Un’s security guard, a terrific gal. Un gives Dave a bust of his admired performer and Dave reassures him that, contrary to what his father told him, Margaritas are not gay. They bond over shooting a few hoops and some pretty serious partying

la_ca_1215_the_interview( until Dave wises up. Dave’s and Aaron’s code names are Dung Beetle and Aardvark and Dave feels that Aaron is Samwise to his Frodo. Really, however, this is not Lord of the Rings; in truth, as Rory profoundly remarked, they are in the great Hope/Crosby tradition and this is just another Road movie, cruder but not more irreverent.

Somewhere in the movie, Dave realizes that “words are more destructive than a nuclear bomb” and that you can cause a revolution with nothing more than questions—probably true.

variety( After all, we know that ridicule is dangerous and that there’s nothing more threatening to tyranny than humor.


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