Let me make a few things clear up front, just as The Interview does with its first two scenes.
This is a shitty movie. This is a bad movie. This movie opens with a scene set in North Korea that tells us right off the bat that this is not going to be intelligent in any way, shape, or form. The image of North Korea that the writers want us to accept is forced upon us thirty seconds into the movie. It’s used because it’s simple, the jokes come easily, and it’s edgy. Sort of. Not really, because I think the general opinion in the U.S. is pretty much uniformly against North Korea in the first place.
What it comes down to is laziness. This comedy caters to a a simple sense of humor and satire. It’s not pushing any limits; The Interview pretty much takes what people already think, writes jokes about it, and sends it back at them. That technically qualifies as comedy, but it’s not clever.
Please don’t come at me with “it’s stoner humor! it’s supposed to be dumb, senseless jokes mashed together without a plot. what did you expect?” I remember Harold and Kumar. I remember how, while half-playing into widespread criticisms of the Bush administration, that series also challenged stereotypes about rednecks, tore down “extreme” douchebags, and even fired some serious shots at our supposedly post-racial justice system. Some of those were widely accepted jokes to be making, but some of them really weren’t. Harold and Kumar was actually clever satire; this movie is not. (One last complaint: this is essentially nothing more than a vehicle for Rogen and Franco to further their careers and line their pockets.)
Now, those are a lot of arguments for why you shouldn’t bother going to see The Interview.
But you will notice that at no point in that list did I say, “wow, this is something that we should BAN!”
I don’t have a problem with theaters backing out of the showings. I also don’t have a problem with Sony pulling the movie from theaters in response to that. But what I fail to understand is WHY the North Koreans thought that threatening the United States with acts of terrorism would be an effective response to this movie. To be honest, the only reason I wanted to see The Interview so badly was because Kim Jong-Un, apparently, didn’t want me to see it. And I don’t think I’m the only person who is of that mindset. Leaving the movie alone, on the other hand, would have exposed audiences to the movie itself on a grand scale… and I don’t think public opinion about North Korea would really have shifted in a negative direction because of this less-than-quality production.
As always, thanks for reading.