Friday, January 9, 2015

The Interview (2014)

Title:  The Interview (2014)

Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Randall Park, Diana Bang

Thanks to the whole Sony Pictures Hack fiasco, suddenly The Interview is the movie to see. What’s the Sony Pictures Hack Fiasco you ask? Well, if we’re to believe the story, the North Korean government hacked into Sony’s data base and read a bunch of confidential e-mails where producers spoke crap about actors. I mean, I’m talking primo garbage like calling Angelina Jolie a “talentless brat”, admitting that Adam Sandler movies have a certain “blahness” to them and calling Leonardo DiCaprio “absolutely despicable”, amongst other things. Whoa! Earth shattering stuff, I know! Sarcasm aside, the reality of this situation is that all producers talk crap about actors, it kind of goes with the territory, it’s just that on this particular occasion, their comments were revealed for all to see, and my, what a parade. Big whoop; so anyhow, apparently, the hackers (a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace) also sent an e-mail threatening to perform terrorist acts on theaters that showed The Interview. Sony execs, fearing terrorist attacks upon movie goers, cancelled the films premiere, which of course made everyone want to watch it even more. Then Obama is like “Sony made a mistake in pulling the movie from theaters” so suddenly, Sony decides to do a 180 and releases The Interview anyway, on the day that it was meant to be released: December 25. A Christmas present to all those who believe in ‘freedom of speech’ and the ‘American way’. To be honest, at the end of the day I am left wondering if the whole thing was just an elaborate hoax to enhance audience awareness and then bam! Suddenly you want to, no, scratch that, you NEED to see The Interview. So what we got here is the most hyped movie on the planet, the question remains: was it all worth it?

The premise behind the film is that Dave Skylark, a television personality who runs a gossip show called Skylark Tonight, is suddenly given the opportunity to interview Kim Jong-Un, the big dictator of the moment. Why? Well, apparently the dictator is a huge fan of the show, mirroring in this sense Kim Jong-Un’s real life obsession with American culture, including being a huge fan of basketball, Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman. So anyhow, Skylark is going to travel to North Korea to interview the political leader. At the same time, the FBI wants Skylark to assassinate Kim Jong-Un . Will Dave perform the assassination?

What we got here is what some might consider “silly film” that actually addresses important issues. Seth Rogen, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, has always been about freedom of speech and using the media for truth instead of lies. For example, he was responsible for The Green Hornet (2011), a film about how the media should be used for telling the truth to the masses, not for manipulating, not for political agendas, not for lies. The Interview, among the many issues it touches upon, is also about using the media for truth, not the masquerade of bull crap we get on a constant basis, not for the stupification of the masses. I mean, even Dave Skylarks show is a criticism on the kind of dumb ass television shows that pass for television these days. The stupification of the masses in deed. In the film, Dave Skylark wants redemption from all that; he wants to make a show that will matter, something with some true depth. There’s this awesome moment in the film where truth is finally being told through television, and the good guys have to protect the broadcast with machine guns blazing! I thought the scene was so symbolic of the raging desire to protect the truth.  

The film also does its best to demystify the god like status that some politicians give themselves. I mean, what are we, Egyptians believing in God like Pharaohs? That time is long gone, there are no godlike men, we’re all equals and we all know it. So if you’re a wannabe politician looking to rise to power, don’t give me this crap that you’re a god cause I aint buying it. I mean, how do some of these politicians get away with making their followers believe these whoppers? For example: Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela says he constantly sees and talks with the spirit of Hugo Chavez, the politician who was in power before him, but died of cancer. This guy even said that Hugo Chavez’s ghost has come to him in the form of a bird! What the hell, worst part is that a huge chunk of the population actually buys into these lies. That’s nothing when compared to Kim Jon-Un’s claims that he doesn’t need to go to the bathroom, cause you know, that’s not a godlike thing to do! Sadly, many North Koreans take this to be true! The Interview bashes all that nonsense to the ground, which is probably why Kim Jong-Un would be angry at a film like this one, it not only makes fun of him, it destroys the god like persona he’s worked so hard at creating! Still, I’m of the mind that if Kim Jong-Un was in fact enraged by this film, then he’s overreacting. He wouldn’t be the first dictator to be made fun of, I mean, we can go as far back as Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant political satire The Great Dictator (1940), in which Chaplin made fun of and openly criticized the biggest dictator of all time: Adolf Hitler. Even  Kim Jong-Il, (Kin Jong-Un’s dad) didn’t mind being made fun of in Team America: World Police (2004), so why the overreaction? I guess The Interview does attack him in a more direct fashion.  

Kim Jong-Il as portrayed in Team America: World Police (2004)

It wouldn’t be the first time that a politically charged film creates controversy. The Great Dictator got Chaplin in trouble (he was considered a communist by the American government) and it was banned in a great deal of other countries (including Spain and Germany), this due to how truthful a film it was. The Great Dictator is a film that tells the people not to go to war, not to become puppets of powerful men, that greed and tyranny shall pass. And this is why I applaud films like these, because they dare to speak up. I’m not saying that The Interview is in anyway a masterpiece (far too many dick and fart jokes for that) but it does have the brass balls to knock a false god from his false godhood and it does attack the media and put a focus on the importance of using it correctly. Here’s a movie that reminds us that dictators are not gods, they are simply men, and mad at that. I highly recommend The Interview because it was enjoyable and didn't disappoint with the laughs and the “controversy”.  Would it have become a box office success without the ‘Sony Hack Fiasco’or without the threatening e-mails? Was it all a hoax for Sony to make more money with the film? I don’t know the answers to these questions, all I can say is the film was fun, recommend it for a good time.

Rating:  4 out of 5

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