Monday, December 29, 2014

The Interview (2014 film)

Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and screenplay written by Dan Sterling from a story by Rogen, Goldberg, and Sterling, The Interview is the story of two American journalists who have booked an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as they’re asked by the CIA to assassinate him. The film is a humorous take of two bumbling journalists whose job is to kill Kim Jong-un as they also try to befriend him for the interview as the North Korean leader is played by Randall Park. Also starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Diana Bang, and Timothy Simons. The Interview is a wild and hilarious film from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

When an American talk show host managed to get an interview with Kim Jong-un in an attempt to gain legitimacy, he and his producer friend travel to North Korea as they’re secretly asked by the CIA to kill him. Along with way, the two men do idiotic things where the talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) befriends Kim Jong-un through parties and all sorts of shit while his friend Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) is trying to get the interview to happen as well as do the assignment. The film’s screenplay is aware that it doesn’t have a plot while it also portrays Kim Jong-un as someone trying to live up to his father’s legacy to ensure the people of North Korea that he’s a god with no butt hole. While Skylark thinks that Kim Jong-un is a good guy as he never takes his subjects seriously which often brings discomfort to Rapoport who is seen by other journalists and producers as a pariah and a thorn to the true world of journalism. Rapoport’s desire to be taken seriously and do what is right would later cause conflict between him and Skylark until the latter makes some very chilling discoveries.

The direction by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg is pretty simple as it’s not going for anything big but rather play into the world of celebrity news and the idea of what North Korea is to the world. Much of it involves some unique compositions in the wide and medium shots to how Skylark and Rapoport are with each other as they are buddies. The direction definitely has a sense of style in the sense of partying while the use of close-ups are very prevalent once they meet Kim Jong-un. Even in how he’s filmed where he is presented as a mythic figure until it is clear that he likes pussy, margaritas, and all sorts of crazy shit. Much of the film is shot in Canada to play into the look of North Korea and how much of Kim Jong-un wants to make the place feel like paradise. Yet, Rogen and Goldberg also present an air of suspense about what happen if this interview does go wrong as there’s the threat of nuclear war happening where Rapoport and Skylar know there’s a lot at stake once they uncover the truth. Overall, Rogen and Goldberg create a very witty yet entertaining film about two idiots who are asked to kill Kim Jong-un.

Cinematographer Brandon Trost does excellent work with the film‘s cinematography from the use of interior lights for the scenes at Kim Jong-un‘s palace to the nighttime exteriors in some of scenes in New York City and a crucial scene at night where Rapoport has to retrieve something near the forest. Editors Zene Baker and Evan Henke do fantastic work with the editing as it‘s very stylized with some cheesy TV editing wipes as well as jump-cuts and montages to play into the comedy and sense of fun that is prevalent during the film. Production designer Jon Billington, with set decorator Johanne Hubert and art director James Steuart, does brilliant work with the look of Kim Jong-un‘s palace with its halls and rooms along with the look of the CIA mission control room. Costume designer Carla Hetland does nice work with the look of the North Korean uniforms as well as the suits and casual clothes that Skylar and Rapoport wear.

Makeup artists Laverne Caracuzzi and Andrea Manchur do superb work with the look of Kim Jong-un from the design of his haircut and a few minor features. Visual effects supervisor Paul Linden does terrific work with the visual effects for some of the film‘s action scenes as well as few set dressing scenes to make the film look like it‘s at North Korea. Sound designers Michael Babcock and Eric A. Norris do amazing work with the sound from the way drones sound when they fly above North Korea to the layers of sounds in some of the gunfire that occurs in the film. The film’s music by Henry Jackman is wonderful for its mixture of bombastic orchestral music along with elements of traditional Asian music and a flamenco piece while music supervisor Jonathan Karp creates a fun soundtrack filled with hip-hop and rap music plus contributions by Usher, David Bowie, Isaac Hayes, Scorpions, and Katy Perry.

The casting by Francine Maisler is phenomenal as it features notable small roles from Anders Holm as an old friend of Rapoport who is also a rival producer, Charles Rhai Chun as General Jong, and Timothy Simons as Skylar and Rapoport’s fellow producer/friend Malcolm. Diana Bang is fantastic as a North Korean military officer named Sook who meets with Rapoport on the meeting as she aid him in preparing the interview. Lizzy Caplan is excellent as CIA agent Lacey who prepares Skylar and Rapoport for their meeting with Kim Jong-un as she does have a few funny moments while being the straight person for the two men.

Randall Park is hilarious as Kim Jong-un as this dictator who wants to be seen as a god as he befriends Skylar as he’s a fan of his show where Park brings a lot of humor but also some terror into his character. Finally, there’s the duo of James Franco and Seth Rogen in marvelous performances in their respective roles as Dave Skylar and Aaron Rapoport as the two definitely bring in a lot of laughs as well as display great chemistry. Franco brings an energetic and lively performance as a talk show who is full of himself while thinking he would make history with his interview with Kim Jong-un. Rogen also brings a lot of energy to his performance while being the voice of reason in the film as he copes with what is at stake as well as what Kim Jong-un really is.

The Interview is a fantastically funny and bombastic film from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Armed with a nifty premise as well as not taking itself very seriously as it has bits of satire on the world of the media. In the end, The Interview is an exhilarating and fun film from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

Related: This is the End

© thevoid99 2014


Brittani Burnham said...

I just watched this today. I have never laughed so hard at someone singing "Firework."

Nostra said...

I did laugh quite a bit at this movie although I did think it didn't satirise Kim Jong Un enough.

Anonymous said...

I really need to see this! DAMN YOU TIME, WHY CAN'T I HAVE YOU!!!

ruth said...

I had zero interest in seeing this before the whole SONY hack debacle and still do. But glad I'm the one who decides NOT to see it, instead of dictated by some nut job in North Korea. That guy playing Kim Jong Un does look hilarious though.

thevoid99 said...

@Brittani-I love that song and I'm not ashamed to say that I like Katy Perry. It's just a stupid, ridiculous film that just does what it needed to do.

@Nostra-Well, I do they did get Kim Jong-un right as far as someone that does have daddy issues.

@Fisti-Make time! Just do what everyone else is doing. Download the film... illegally.

@ruth-It's just a silly film that brings in the laughs so if you're not interested in downloading it. Don't worry. It'll be on TV.