THE INTERVIEW Diana Bang, Seth Rogan, and James Franco
Credit: Ed Araquel

Kim Jong-Un, the demented ruler of North Korea with the comical 10-gallon head, is no less a caricature in The Interview than his father was 10 years ago in Team America: World Police. Both movies understand that there’s something screwball about dictators. The Interview‘s premise — a TV host (James Franco) and his producer (Seth Rogen) are tasked with assassinating Kim — is so killer that it’s caused real-life gyrations in North Korea. And that’s why it’s a pity that the film is bereft of satiric zing, bludgeoning the laughs with a nonstop sledgehammer of bro humor. The jokes, such as one that necessitates that Rogen hide a steel canister in his rectum, are told once, then again, then a third time, then remarked upon: ”That was a little embarrassing!” and ”That was so funny!” Unlike in Superbad and Pineapple Express, which were written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg yet directed — crucially — by other people, the farce lacks finesse, which is especially true of Franco’s assaulting, unspontaneous performance. Gesturing madly with every move, the actor doesn’t deliver a single line straight. And while the idea that he might be on the receiving end of a schoolboy crush from the supreme leader of North Korea is obscenely funny, Franco unexpectedly goes nowhere with it, instead woofing lines like ”I’ve f—ed more women than Ellen DeGeneres.” A dangerous comedy about a dangerous regime shouldn’t be safe for suburban dads. C

The Interview
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