"Outrageous Comedy, with a Strong Anti-Communist Message"
THE INTERVIEW is a controversial comedy about an American TV anchorman who travels to North Korea with his producer for an interview with real-life dictator Kim Jong Un, only to be recruited by the CIA to assassinate the dictator while there. THE INTERVIEW is acted and directed with gusto, with an inventive plot, but it has a strong mixed pagan worldview with plenty of lewd content, extreme foul language and graphic violence, mixed with a strong anti-communist message.
The movie follows a comically vapid American talk show host in the vein of Larry King, named Dave Skylark (played by James Franco) and his producer, Aaron Rapaport (played by Seth Rogen). Dave sees an article stating that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un regards Skylark’s show as his favorite TV program. Then, a former classmate mocks Aaron for having stupid content on the show. So, they pursue an interview with Kim and are shocked to have their request accepted.
Before they can fly out, however, a beautiful CIA agent (Lizzy Caplan) shows up at Dave’s home and talks the two into agreeing to assassinate Kim by transferring poison to him via a handshake at the interview. Dave is excited by this prospect while Aaron is concerned, but they agree to help.
However, when they actually meet Kim, he appears to be a fun and misunderstood guy. He takes Dave on a joyride in a tank, serves him margaritas, and has models arrive for an implied orgy. Dave now doesn’t want to kill him, until he stumbles across information showing how Kim has falsified many of the sights they’ve seen in order to look nice and kind. When Kim finally explodes in a rage about wanting to destroy America, Dave realizes he has to save the day after all. This leads to a final action-packed finale filled with bloody violence that nonetheless is played effectively for laughs.
THE INTERVIEW has lots of foul language and a rather large amount of sexual jokes expressed mostly verbally, though the movie seems to have less of that than Rogen’s prior R-rated efforts, especially something like THIS IS THE END. While the movie is unquestionably deserving of its R rating, it should be noted that raunchy comedy is not intended to be as arousing as dirty dramatic movies, and is not likely to inspire nearly as much copycat behavior as a serious movie with sexual material.
It is also remarkable on several fronts. In particular, its daring in exposing the evils of a communist state and North Korean leader Kim in particular. Concentration camps, deliberate mass starvation and the quashing of all dissent are discussed repeatedly and with extreme contempt by the movie’s lead characters.
From top to bottom, THE INTERVIEW is acted with gusto and directed with a fast and exciting pace. Its basic plot is highly inventive with many unexpected twists. The nation’s mainstream media film critics are evenly divided on this movie, giving it a 50 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, but it’s extremely likely that most of the movie’s negative reviews come because of its unabashedly anti-communist political message. In fact, Seth Rogen co-wrote the movie and has made it clear in interviews that his goal with the movie is to educate his young generation of fans about the evils of communism because he believes that the media and education system are not keeping the threat of communist dictatorships fresh in the minds of the American public, especially young citizens.
Overall, viewers should be forewarned that there is plenty of lewd content, foul language and graphic violence in THE INTERVIEW, but at least it gets the politics right.
(PaPaPa, BB, ACACAC, HoHo, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, DD, MM) Very strong mixed pagan worldview with some strong moral elements that include a very strong anti-communist message, mitigated by plenty of crude content, plus some light and briefly strong homosexual innuendo played for laughs includes a crude visual reference to sodomy, well-known celebrity singer comes out as homosexual when he’s not, and male leads comically try to be “sensitive” men, and movie turns this into “gay” innuendo for laughs; at least 150 obscenities and profanities; very strong and some strong violence includes dictator’s bodyguard eats poison-laden chewing gum and the next day vomits and has seizures and dies bloodily, fighting, two men bite each other’s fingers off and graphic blood is seen spraying, two men shot in the head graphically, close-up of a man’s head being run over by a tank, explosions, character dies in fiery explosion; strong, crude sexual content includes depicted and implied fornication, implied orgy, homosexual innuendo, comical references to masturbation in one scene, two crude visual references to male erection, miscellaneous crude sex jokes, and miscellaneous crude sexual talk; upper female nudity in one scene and rear male nudity in another scene; alcohol use and implied drunkenness; cigar smoking and use of Ecstasy drug; and, North Korean dictator lies and threatens people, government corruption in North Korea, and dictator depicted as fun-loving, misunderstood man, but people are warned that the dictator is a manipulative villain, and this turns out to be true by the movie’s end.
THE INTERVIEW follows a comically vapid American talk show host named Dave Skylark and his producer, Aaron. Dave hears that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un regards Skylark’s show as his favorite TV program. A former classmate mocks Aaron for having a stupid show. So, they pursue an interview with Kim and are shocked to have their request accepted. Before they leave, however, a beautiful CIA agent shows talks the two men into agreeing to assassinate Kim. Kim appears to be a fun, misunderstood guy. When he reveals his true evil nature, an action-packed comical finale follows.
THE INTERVIEW is acted with gusto and directed with a fast, exciting pace. Its basic plot is highly inventive with many unexpected twists. However, it has a mixed pagan worldview, with lots of lewd comedy and extreme foul language, and some graphic violence. That said, it takes a strong stance against North Korea’s oppressive dictatorship. Concentration camps, deliberate mass starvation and the quashing of all dissent in North Korea are discussed repeatedly, with extreme contempt. THE INTERVIEW places all this in an outrageous comical context.