Editor’s note: We all love movies, but rather than ask a syndicated columnist who has never visited our beautiful High Desert, we commissioned our own local movie critic: Nolan P. Smith to review films and give us a local perspective. Enjoy!
Review by Nolan P. Smith
The Interview has been the most controversial movie of the year, as anyone who has followed the news knows. Planned for a December release, the film was postponed due to the nature of the film, which lampoon’s North Korea and their leader, Kim Jong-Un. The American audience saw this as a crime against freedom of speech, as did the President of the United States. Soon after the President addressed the nation, Sony announced that the film would indeed see a release, via online streaming and limited theater release across the states; 331 theaters to be precise. The High Desert city of Hesperia is one of those theaters, allowing me to witness firsthand what the interview had to offer. Was it worth all the commotion?
The film centers around tabloid news host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producers Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) as they decide to center on newsworthy topics rather than the celebrity fluff they are used to (however, the segment with rapper on Eminem on it in the film is absolutely hilarious). Turns out that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park) is a big fan of Skylark’s show and decides to grant a global interview inside of North Korea. Once the U.S. finds out, they recruit the comedic duo to ‘take out’ out Jong-Un for good.
The duo of Franco and Rogen have had quite a hilarious track record, with hits like Pineapple Express and This is The End, and The Interview continues that hit streak. A crude, rated R comedy with a surprising amount of action and gunfire, The Interview packs the laughs from the beginning to end. I haven’t laughed that hard in a theater in a while, but Franco and Rogen know how to tug at the funny strings to the soul. The film exaggerates and lampoons the dictatorship of North Korea while crafting a story of espionage, if you can call it that, wrapped with some of the best Lord of the Rings puns and comparisons I have ever heard.
All in all, the film was funny as heck. Was it the best film I have seen in 2014? Not at all. But it didn’t have to be. It was a hilarious escape of a film, and that’s the goal, isn’t it? Remember, in America, we do have the freedom of speech, and that includes making movies about controversial topics. The hype behind this film will have many seeing it for the mere fact of being told not to; I think those in the search of a great comedy should take the time to head to the theater and see this with a live audience firsthand.