A few months ago I went to see the Dracula movie in theaters with my brother. Sadly we were under tornado warnings on and off that week so midway through the previews we got booted out of the theater and weren’t able to watch out movie that day. What I did get to see was the slightly ludicrous but still entertaining trailer for the Interview. I had not heard of the movie before then but I figured I might watch it once it came to Netflix. It looked at least remotely entertaining, even if I find James Franco to be a bit strange and not nearly as funny as most people who are slightly more inebriated than my perpetually sober self. Some humor you can only get if your high.
Fast forward to last December when the raging controversy was brewing over not showing the movie in theaters. Truthfully when I first heard this I thought it was a hoax. I mean this was 2014…Of course we were going to show a perfectly harmless comedy in theaters even if it did make fun of North Korea and revolve around offing their leader. I mean we show movies all the time about actual historical events that don’t portray other countries in a positive light. Theaters also show movies like Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit which is all about a Russian plot to ruin the US government and economy. You don’t see Russia crying foul. Putin is not pitching a fit to get it off the air and Carmike is certainly not refusing to play such movies in their theaters. But that is exactly what supposedly happened with the Interview. North Korea pitched a fit, hacked Sony’s network, threatened a bunch of things, and Sony, Carmike and several other people involved in the process of bringing a movie from production to the big screen suddenly backed out of showing it at all.
The whole undertaking was rather surreal. Whether or not what they told us happened actually did, whether North Korea gives a shit about what we watch or make fun of, I suspect we won’t know until 30 years from now when James Franco’s biography comes out. What I do know is that the movie never made it to theaters. For a while there was no clear plan as to if it would ever be released to the public. Then they began to say it would be released direct to DVD or on the streaming services like Amazon, Itunes, etc. And that is basically what happened last month.
Whether I would have been as keen to watch it before I suppose we will never know, but watch it did. Basically it is exactly what it looks like in the previews. Two guys get an Interview with North Korea’s supreme leader, the CIA talks them into trying to take him down, once they get to North Korea things are a lot more complicated than they anticipated. Sex jokes abounded. The dynamic between Seth Rogen and Franco is really good. They play off each other well. Rogen is the ever practical producer trying to reign in the flighty and sometimes downright absurd Franco. The movie is definitely a good one to watch while mindlessly doing your laundry or knitting or some other task. It is not for children (obviously) but it is entertaining enough for what it is. I would never have paid to see it in theaters, but on Netflix, when I already pay to stream way more content than I probably should, it was well worth the entertainment value.