Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang, Timothy Simons, Reese Alexander
Written by: Dan Sterling, based on a story by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, Dan Sterling
Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use and bloody violence
Language: English, Korean, with English subtitles
Running Time: 112
Date: 12/28/2014
IMDB

The Interview (2014)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Brothers Kim

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Co-writers and co-directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen follow up their acclaimed all-star hit This Is the End with The Interview, a less metaphysical and more topical comedy. It's an attempt at a political satire, stirring up trouble before its release -- or at least tangentially involved in trouble -- but resulting in less a political satire than a bromance with jokes about body parts and bodily functions.

Dave Skylark (James Franco) is the slick, smarmy host of a popular celebrity TV talk show, an interviewer so skilled that he can even get Eminem to open up about his sexuality. When Dave and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) learn that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a huge fan of the show, they arrange to interview him. However, having learned this, the CIA sends agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) to convince the boys to assassinate Kim. Once in Korea, Aaron finds himself attracted to one of Kim's top aides (Diana Bang) and Dave begins developing a bond with Kim himself (Randall Park). Can our heroes do the right thing and get out of the country alive?

The best part about The Interview is Franco, whose cheerfully loony performance recalls his award-winning role in Spring Breakers. His Skylark is so comfortable with his inappropriate behavior that he's instantly hilarious. He's incapable of a false note, even though he's all surface. Unfortunately, as the plot begins to kick in and take hold in the second half, less time is given to jokes, and we're left with not much more than yelling, chasing, explosions, and some gratuitous finger-biting and blood spurts.

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