The Interview  (2014)    67/100

Rating :   67/100                                                                     112 Min        15

Surprisingly, Seth Rogen (who joins Evan Goldberg on directing duties here – the pair of them working with screenwriter Dan Sterling on the story) and James Franco have managed to pull this one off, a satirical comedy about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un which has now become one of the most infamous films of all time after a group which may, or may not, have been linked to North Korea hacked production company Sony in revenge for the film’s content, and even managed to halt its general release for a time. If Sony had read my review of ‘Red Dawn‘ they could have saved themselves the trouble…

Franco plays populist and successful TV chat show host Dave Skylark, who works happily alongside his producer and best friend Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) until their showbiz bubble is burst when Aaron realises his peers mock him for the lowbrow entertainment he produces and the idea is hit upon to conduct a much coveted interview with none other than Kim Jong-un himself. The CIA decide, however, to throw a substantial spanner in the works by appropriating their outing and requesting they assassinate the North Korean supreme leader instead. Reluctantly deciding they should do as they are told for the good of humanity they are then, as Skylark begins to bond with their would be target, forced to consider whether he is such a bad guy after all …

With noteworthy support from Diana Bang and a great scene with Eminem the film takes a while to get anywhere, but once it does the balance between the unfolding plot and the comedy is very well judged and it successfully entertains right through to the finale – thanks in no small measure to a winning performance from Randall Park (‘The Five Year Engagement‘) as Kim Jong-un. You do wonder if it wouldn’t have been wiser to make it a fictional country and leader but one with obvious connections, but they have dealt with the material really well in the end. Imagine, though, if the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, had been the target – the film would never have been made, simple as that, and yet what he and his party have done, starving thousands of people up and down the country and forcing them to use food banks (places where food is donated by the public and where people can collect it for free) and forcing those out of a job to work for private companies for free is arguably far, far more pernicious and evil as democratically not-elected (they did not get a majority in Parliament) representatives of one of the richest nations on Earth, one that in theory, but not in practise, looks after its citizen’s human rights, than the actions of one single solitary autocrat who inherited a legacy already mired in human rights abuse from his father.

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