In case you missed the news in between exchanging gifts, eggnog and holiday turkey, Sony Pictures decided to release its controversial film The Interview
after originally pulling it over threats made against theaters showing the film.
Locally, viewers had two options to see the film: streaming online
or at the South Side Works theater
. In fact, of the 311 theaters showing the film nationwide
, South Side Works was the only theater in the state to screen the film.
Since things were a little slow around the City Paper
offices this morning, I decided to watch the film, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, and will have a review coming in next week's issue. But before that, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on the movie.
The plot of the film is extremely well known at this point: A television tabloid journalist (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) score an interview with Kim Jong-un. They are then enlisted by the CIA to assassinate the dictator, a task they agree to. The film and the decision to depict Kim Jong-un (hear Rogen and Franco discuss the decision with Howard Stern
) has been extremely controversial in recent weeks.
The film is being cited as the reason for a massive hack on Sony, the company, which is releasing the film. While the FBI has claimed
that North Korea was behind the attack, security experts are starting to disagree
. In the wake of the hack and other threats, theaters began pulling out of screenings
and Sony pulled the film,
much to the dismay of President Obama
. Sony reversed course Christmas Eve and the film made $1 million
after a one-day limited release.
But at the bottom of all of this controversy sits a Seth Rogen/James Franco film that is cut from the same mold as their previous outings Pineapple Express
and This is the End
. If you liked those films (and I did), then you're going to like this film (which I do). But if you're of a mindset that you have
to go and see this film out of some sort of patriotic duty not to let "the terrorists" win, and you've never seen, liked or heard of the duo's other films, then you're likely going to be disappointed. If that's your reason for seeing the film, you might want to instead just upload the picture of the bald eagle with a single tear and make your statement that way and save the $10 bucks.
But if you like a raunchy comedy with all of the typical cringe-worthy trimmings — like hiding a top secret projectile in the one place that not even a seasoned North Korean military man might look — this movie really is a can't miss. It's full of cheap laughs (Franco's character Dave Skylark has "stink dick" after a night of partying) to some clever moments as well that remind us that while the United States is obviously not North Korea, we still have a penchant for diplomatic stupidity of our own.
In one scene for example, Skylark is confronted with the idea that killing Kim Jong-un might not actually solve the problem. "How many times will the U.S. make the same mistakes," Skylark is asked.
"As many times as it takes!" he bellows in return.
is not a political thriller in the vein of the Manchurian Candidate
or political satire cut from the cloth of Dr. Strangelove,
but it's a really funny, entertaining film. And although the ending is pretty predictable (and pretty violent), if you're a fan of this type of comedy, it really is worth a peek.