A three-word review of 'The Interview'

Well, that sucked.

OK, I lied, more words: It didn't suck entirely. But with the YouTube tab still open on my browser and the sounds of The Scorpions' 'Winds of Change'—the soundtrack to "The Interview's" epilogue—still ringing in my ears, I'm left wondering, as many no doubt are: Why was this such a big deal?

There were some genuinely funny-dumb lines in the tradition of other Seth Rogen-written comedies like "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express," and also like those films, it managed to have a few moments of Genuine Emotion. The third act—the only truly shocking part, mostly for its extreme graphic violence—aspires to be a modern "Dr. Strangelove," but, despite one pretty badass visual moment, is many, many levels inferior.

The film is basically a much cruder rehash of previous out-of-their-depth comedies like "Spies Like Us." Rogen and James Franco are the producer and host, respectively, of a gossip talk show with scoops like "Eminem is gay" and "Rob Lowe is bald"—both stars risked terrorist attacks to film cameos. When it's revealed that North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park of "Veep," who is pretty great) is a big fan of the show, Rogen aims to prove he can be serious by requesting an interview. It's granted, the CIA recruits them to assassinate the leader, hijinks ensue.

In the end, the fact that North Korea was really concerned enough about this movie to risk further alienating allies like China and inviting even worse international sanctions—both things that have resulted from its alleged cyber attack on Sony—then it's just another confirmation that Kim Jong-Un is every bit as batshit crazy as this movie (and reality) make him out to be.

Copyright © 2019, Baltimore City Paper, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Privacy Policy