Seth Rogen and James Franco have to be two of the weirdest, most ridiculous people in the whole world. Brought together by a love of drugs and the absurd, the pair have become almost synonymous with one another, making movies such as ‘This Is The End’ and cult classic ‘Pineapple Express’. Arguably, the main demographic for Rogen/Franco projects is mostly made up of oddballs and stoners. I don’t intend to condone or promote any kind of illicit behaviour, especially when operating a DVD player, but it does help. As an actor, I’m not particularly a fan of Seth Rogen, but as a writer, one cannot deny the man is a creative genius and ‘The Interview’ is certainly testament to this.
In true Rogen/Franco style, this movie is absolutely mad, completely ludicrous, but what better way to depict the crazy world of North Korea. The film is explicitly controversial right from the off, revealing rapper Eminem as a homosexual. The controversy just piles up thereafter, and I get a feeling Rogen and Franco really do enjoy the friction they cause. Why else would they provoke and divide audiences again and again? Franco stars as TV personality and chat show host, Dave Skylark, a man desperate to be the biggest star in the world. Along with his producer, Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), Skylark aims to land the impossible interview, with the dictator of the most private and hostile country in the world, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Incredibly, Kim Jong-un agrees to the interview, but only on his terms and in his country. When the CIA learns of the plans, they order Skylark and Rapoport to assassinate the Korean leader, but Skylark can’t bring himself to betray his new friend. Kim Jong-un is seemingly nothing like the evil man he is portrayed to be in the media, with his country appearing to be thriving and healthy. However, Skylark soon uncovers the façade of economic success and smiling citizens, discovering a darker side to North Korea’s leader. Dave Skylark then steps up and takes down the regime, on live television, becoming the worldwide star he dreamed of.
I kinda love James Franco in a weird way. So he’s a little strange, but that’s a good thing, why not be a little different? Being different should be celebrated. Hang on, Franco does celebrate his own uniqueness, I advise everyone to watch the Comedy Central Roast of James Franco, so funny it hurts! As Dave Skylark, Franco is typically odd, super cheesy and very camp, but fantastic for it. In contrast, as I’ve mentioned, I can’t really watch Seth Rogen in movies without getting a little annoyed. He’s a very clever guy, for sure, but I just hate the way all of his characters look the same and act the same and talk the same. Basically, Rogen is perfect if you’re looking for a big imbecile who will f*ck everything up at some point. As Aaron Rapoport, Rogen does bring something a little different to usual, a slightly more intelligible and sensible character, especially when you place him next to Franco’s Skylark. Nevertheless, I still can’t class myself as a fan of Seth Rogen or this character. Thanks for Superbad though, Seth. Credit to Randall Park too, by the way, who plays the eccentric Kim Jong-un brilliantly.
This wacky comedy, in my opinion, is the best thing to ever come from the combined heads of Rogen and Franco. ‘The Interview’ is clever and should be heralded as a triumph in freedom of speech. Why shouldn’t they make a film about whatever the hell they want? Besides, all the controversy can’t hurt when you’re trying to grab the attention of the worldwide audience. Indeed, I wouldn’t even be surprised if the pair of them planned the whole thing, creating tensions just to get more publicity for the movie. With recurring themes of homosexuality, terrorism and criticism of the late Kim Jong-il, it’s easy to see why North Korea were angered by this movie. ‘The Interview’ is all one, big, risky joke, but it well and truly paid off.
DIRECTOR: EVAN GOLDBERG, SETH ROGEN
STARRING: JAMES FRANCO, SETH ROGEN, RANDALL PARK