Dave Skylark (James Franco) hosts Skylark Tonight, in which he interviews celebrities. Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) is the show’s producer. When they find out Kim Jong Un (Randall Park) is a huge fan, they plan to go to North Korea to interview him. The CIA sends Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) and Agent Botwin (Reese Alexander) to talk to Dave and Aaron. The agents give Dave and Aaron the task of “taking out” the North Korean leader.
Of course, the mission doesn’t go as planned. Dave finds himself spending the day with Kim. The two form a sort of friendship. Dave decides to abort the mission. Aaron finds himself attracted to Sook (Diana Bang), head of the TV station in North Korea they will use to broadcast Dave and Kim Jong Un’s interview. When Sook admits she hates the president and Dave discovers that everything Kim has presented to him is just a façade, the plan is back on. Dave and Aaron must find a way to kill Kim Jong Un and escape the country.
Much ado was made of The Interview. With North Korea allegedly hacking Sony and demanding the movie not be shown, of course American demand for it to be seen grew. In hindsight, it all appears to have been a publicity stunt to stir up hype. Had the threat been real, I would think there would have been a second wave of threats when it was released as planned.
When James Franco and Seth Rogen team up, which is just about every movie either of them does, magic can happen. Pineapple Express and This is the End are both extremely successful ventures. Those movies had me laughing from beginning to end. Sadly, The Interview is not at the same level. The jokes are predictable and contrived. Almost every one fails to connect. Those that do work earn a chuckle at best. My high schooler, however, thought the movie was hilarious. She said it is one of the funniest she has seen. Perhaps I’m just too old for the level of humor they give.
Part of my experience with the film may have been jaded by the fact that I had to rent it off YouTube. It took to the second and final day of my rental period to get it to play successfully past the very opening scene. Regardless, I did not enjoy the movie at all.
Don’t buy in to the hype surrounding the movie. If you are going to waste the two hours, at least wait until you can rent a physical copy of it. It really isn’t worth the time and effort. Unless, of course, high school level comedy is your thing.