The Interview is online

interview2Netflix started showing The Interview despite threats from North Korea, and I’m getting a little nervous writing this.  Is this thing bugged?  The Interview is probably the most controversial movie since The Passion of the Christ in 2004 and is available on Netflix, who probably spent a lot to stream this movie.  It is not remarkable, only notable because North Korea thinks they can intimidate everybody.

It is a comedy, and follows all the typical comedy beats, which are mostly sarcastic and farcical.  James Franco goes way over-the-top and his performance is exaggerated and stupid, but it fits the tone.  Seth Rogan plays the straight-man for the most part, and there are plenty of ridiculous situations for him to get into too.

interview1It is interesting that The Interview has made back its 44 million dollar budget in only rentals, but it probably would have made more if released to the planned 3,000 theaters.  Of course, this is only possible because of the controversy, but I think we do need movies like this, or film becomes stagnant and dull.

The satire in this movie is so thick, even the characters know it.  James Franco makes fun of the media as he plays Dave Skylark as a flamboyant jackass, and every line of dialogue paints him as an idiot.  The movie takes a political stance, but it’s comedy is one step above Dumb and Dumber.  For example, there is plenty of toilet humor to go around, such as when Kim Jun Un craps himself or when Seth Rogen hides a missile in his butt.

All in all, this is what satire needs to be, and I can respect that.  However, it is not the best film.  The movie is overdone on purpose, and the performances are exaggerated and silly.  The spy aspect of the film is the best part, a touch that harkens back to Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd in Spies Like Us (1985).  I’m not sure which is better at it, but the last half of The Interview throws out the espionage in favor of more toilet humor and an action climax.  I think it is interesting for its satire, but I’ll watch Monty Python or Steve Martin if I want to laugh out loud.