‘The Interview’ was the film that could not be seen due to a self-imposed ban by Columbia Pictures (its distributor). However now it has been now been seen and here are the thoughts I’m left with.
Basically it’s a frat-house take on ‘Frost Nixon’ and like most frat-house fare it’s never as funny for us as it seems to be for those actually making the film. All the usual ‘Judd-Apatow/The-Hangover’ tick boxes are disappointingly in place: race jokes, women jokes, sex jokes, dick jokes, fart jokes but yet none of them with the necessary amount of irony that might successfully sell any of them.
Dr Strangelove this isn’t, but then that said, how could it have ever been?
So what are you actually left with? Occasional nice cinematography and production design and a nagging question as to why James Franco is so intent on sabotaging his career / talent? Seth Rogen wisely plays the straighter of the two leads, and does so in a way that actually makes you wonder how good he could be in a straight role (-I suspect, pretty good).
So if the North Koreans were genuinely worried about this film they needn’t have been, nor should they have bothered to hack into Sony Pictures USA. America is the real loser here with a blunt, cultural missive that ends up detonating its own culture rather than the intended target of the North Korean dictatorship. Dr Strangelove this isn’t, but then that said, how could it have ever been?