Poster

I watched The Interview because I’m a patriot and I love freedom. Just kidding.

I watched The Interview because I was bored and it was available for free in the comfort of my own home. By now, everyone knows all of the hoopla surrounding the Sony hack and trying to connect the dots to North Korea. Even before that threat, I would have never paid money to watch this in a theater. Although you should avoid trailers, all of the previews made this movie look horrific and utterly unwatchable.

My feelings were somewhat substantiated after actually watching the movie. But there were a handful of unexpected laughs and most of the movie was surprisingly enjoyable. In terms of modern comedies, it wasn’t atrocious. Of course, you have to understand ahead of time that this is a completely preposterous, over-the-top ridiculous scenario and nothing should be taken seriously at all.

Apparently, North Korea didn’t get that memo.

Judging by the aesthetic, I assume the idea behind this movie blossomed when Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg watched the VICE Guide to North Korea while high. If you want a genuine attempt at portraying North Korea and what they want you to see, then I suggest you stop reading this and watch that insanely compelling documentary about the Hermit Kingdom. Just look at the footage below.

 

There’s nothing in The Interview as interesting as that real footage filmed inside North Korea. The Interview isn’t fooling anyone into taking it seriously. It is as cringe-worthy as it appears. Sure, there’s a scene where Seth Rogen hides an object in his ass from the military. I’ve seen worse.

For example, Neighbors is another Seth Rogen comedy that came out this year. In that miserable turd of a movie, Seth Rogen actually takes a giant dildo and slaps Zac Efron in the face with it. Repeatedly. That’s more unfunny and offensive than anything in The Interview. Somehow, there are people out there who enjoyed Neighbors yet think The Interview is too crude.

If TV networks aren’t too afraid to air it, The Interview would be a very watchable TV comedy. Highbrow entertainment is not the target. It’s crass humor. But we live in a world where Step Brothers is playing an average of 7 times a day on TV. The Interview is merely mindless entertainment, but there’s certainly a market for that. After all, millions still flock to theaters to see Michael Bay’s newest bowel movement.

James Franco Sucking Imaginary Dicks

Despite all the mildly positive things I can say, The Interview did not need to run for almost 2 hours. We need to stop this epidemic. Timing is everything –especially for a movie that is supposed to make you laugh. The Interview would have greatly benefited from leaving a half hour on the cutting room floor.  Comedies almost always need to tighten up the timing and finish the story in under 90 minutes.

I want to credit the studio for having the balls to let Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg make the movie they wanted. But that’s impossible when they showed their complete lack of balls by pulling the initial widespread release scheduled for Christmas. The Christmas release date doomed it from the start.

In an alternate universe, The Interview could have been successful if handled differently. If you slash at least half the nearly $45 million budget and scheduled filming for a July 4 release date, Sony could have made millions off this stupid movie instead of eating their shoes. The Interview never had a home amongst all of the Oscar bait and family friendly movies playing around the holidays. Imagine how much idiotic national pride could have been rallied around an Independence Day debut?

I would say The Interview deserved better, but that’s a lie because the movie itself isn’t remarkable. However, The Interview is watchable—I wouldn’t have to walk out the theater like I did during Johnny Knoxville’s abortion, The Ringer—and there are even enough laughs for multiple viewings.

My best endorsement: it’s not that bad…no, really.

Lizzy Caplan

3 out of 5 stars

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