It’s not everyday you can watch a film and feel like you’re kicking dictatorships in the lower regions, so, of course, do grab the chance to watch The Interview as soon as you can (1). Because, you know, Freedom. No matter what I’ll say in the next few lines.
If you’ve seen and enjoyed This is the End, you know what kind of humour to expect from Franco/Rogen – a little bit above the Superbad kind, with some geeky references thrown in the mix (obviously, Lord of the Rings) and the same old personas, that is to say, the inseparable bros that occasionally go gay for each other. But do not be fooled by the unfortunate historical context of its release – this film is not at satire level with The Great Dictator. It is just silly fun at the expense of one of the most dangerous present day world leaders. True, there is a good message behind it – after all, show the Supreme Leader as a human being to its people, and its regime will crumble – but guess which country leaves with its reputation unscathed? That’s right, the good ol’ United States of America. Because, you know, they get in and save the day. As usual. After all, it does take one propagandist to call on the others. (To wash your soul from both, we recommend Team America as a more incisive and egalitarian digestive.)
In the midst of the scatology and a brilliant Eminem cameo, some smiles will appear on your face, but it never gets to full laughing your head off levels. Franco and Rogen, again, play versions of themselves, only this time Rogen gets the girl and Franco gets the puppy. If you’re a White Stripes fan, you’ll find the soundtrack particularly annoying. But there aren’t many films out there where there’s a tank test drive to the sound of Katy Perry’s Fireworks so, yeah, I guess that evens it out.
To sum it up, do not go into the cinema hoping for an epiphany. If it was not for all the mess about its release, The Interview could have been out and gone without anyone bating an eye. It’s well done, efficient, but nothing close to extraordinary or original. As it stands, however, we are either in the presence of the most wicked and sick viral marketing campaign ever, or those hackers (either at North Korea’s order or not) really have some particular grudge against Sony/the US/Freedom. Poor Sony, as if the Betacam and Bluray failures weren’t enough.
(1) Sony’s decision to release the film despite all odds only affected the US, so there’s no UK release date as yet. It seems like the rest of the World does not exist for the good old States, but we place our hope in Capitalism that this will quickly be rectified.