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Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Interview Review: Tempest in a Tabloid.

Is the Interview worthy of it's controversy? No. But is that something that can ever be justifiably held against their creators? Even making believe they were assassinating a real world leader, Rogan and Co. couldn't have possibly imagined an international incident on this scale. Topped off with Obama saying to Rogan's bosses "Come on, guys... you're making your country look bad." Probably. He probably said that.

All that aside; and I concede that's a ton of stuff to throw aside, but all the same... it's a fun movie. After being dragged to "This is the End" and having a ball in spite of myself, I've grown to appreciate what these guys can do. And if James Franco wants to be a goofy, self centered, man-child in the face of one of the most brutal dictators on earth I am all. Goddamn. Ears.

Rogan and Franco feel like they're playing characters from different movies. That Rogan's producer wants to be in a satire shooting for the brass ring of Dr. Strangelove and Franco's Entertainment Tonight host wants to do Team America. Actually... that's perfect for both their character arcs. You know what? I started that as a criticism, but I think I just peeled back a level of meta! Damn.

But seriously, If you can get over the fact Franco is a cartoon (a funny cartoon to be fair) than you will get much more out of this. But even if you hate every second both these guys are on screen, Randall Park is a sight to behold. He turns in a performance that could work in a straight drama, if you tweaked the dialogue a bit. He's never a straw man and he's never too sympathetic. His love of Katie Perry and Margaritas are adorable, his murderous rage, believable. I won't go as far to say he gave a performance the film doesn't deserve (it's a better movie than that) but it's a very pleasant shock. Oh, sh*t! I almost forgot about Diana Bang.

I know, I'm sorry. Please forgive me.
She's just so perfect as the disillusioned master of propaganda. Is she also the de-facto love interest miles out of Rogan's league? Yeah. But they at least address it this time and she filled in all her character's blanks like a pro. Like Park, she did a ton of extra credit most critics didn't even bother noticing. Like, just her posture and walking style sold a lifetime of indoctrination. And when she breaks ranks she starts talking slower and quieter (like she's bugged) for the rest of the movie, no matter what! She's tremendous.

Expectations are a dangerous thing. Once in a blue moon they're met. Toy Story 3 comes to mind. Sometimes they're exceeded, I think I've seen The Avengers 5 times now. This is not some grand comic think piece about the plight of the North Koreans. But it still does those issues enough service to make those not in the know, more aware. This a fun, funny, little movie that gets better as it goes along. 

Jenny Lane? Take it away.

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