I’ll get straight to the point.
In the annals of doing everything that makes horrible movies horrible, this one could possibly stand alone in its horribleness. And I’ve seen Ishtar and Battlefield Earth.
- James Franco is the worst comedic actor in Hollywood — perhaps the entire world. If I was supposed to hate him in this film (he plays a clueless, self-absorbed talk show host), it worked — but for all the wrong reasons. His punchline deliveries were so unfunny, his shucking-and-jiving so over the top, his facial expressions so incredibly forced and rehearsed, all I felt was embarrassment for him. This, from the guy who gave a fine performance in 127 Hours. I didn’t hate him in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Oz the Great and Powerful, or Spider-Man, either (admittedly, these were all dramatic roles). But this…this was unspeakable. I have high school actors who know how to be funny. Franco? Not funny.
- Strangely, the guy who plays North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un gives the only performance remotely worth watching. (The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy runs a close second.)
- If I were the real Kim, I’d be offended, too. Not for being portrayed in a movie that involves a plot for my assassination, but rather for being portrayed in the same cinematic space as James Franco, who is
perhapsthe worst comedic actor in the entire world.
- If I didn’t know better, I’d say that the whole ridiculous mess was cooked up by Sony.
- To say this film is satirical is a brazen insult to satire.
OK, backtrack a moment.
- I’ll admit: I don’t like bathroom-and-body-part gross-out butt-and-flatulence humor. The movie’s unrelenting obsession with hind ends got old pretty fast.
- I stand by my previous statement that making a movie like this was a stupid idea, obviously foreshadowing a less-than-glowing review.
- I know, I know. Geez, consider the source. We’re not talking Terence Malick here. I get that. But we’re not talking junior high boys looking at Penthouse, either. (Or maybe…hmmm)
Wilson Morales said it best in his review for Black Film.com: “[It] feels like a Saturday Night Live sketch that went longer than it should, with the writers having nowhere to go after the laugh meter reached its peak early.”
And it’s not that I hate silly, stupid movies — I don’t, necessarily. But I like silly movies to have some redeeming qualities: 1) good acting, 2) a decent story to tell, 3) well-drawn characters who, at some point, encourage the audience to “pull” for them, and 4) a memorable script. The Interview had a lot of stuff…just not anything slightly resembling 1-4.
Bottom line: While I thought the whole thing was pointless and distasteful, I think part of it could have been salvaged by a better actor in the lead role. Perhaps James should step away from comedy and stick to writing poetry, or, I dunno…hosting the Oscars, maybe.
Other than all that, it was great. Me? I want my $6 back from YouTube.
On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give The Interview RtB’s first-ever: