New on Netflix: The Interview

It may not be an Academy Award-nominated film, but “The Interview” certainly stole our attention this year.

“The Interview” stars James Franco as celebrity interviewer Dave Skylark, host of “Skylark Tonight.” The movie also features its director Seth Rogen as Aaron Rapoport, producer of “Skylark Tonight.”

Skylark and Rapoport are approached by the CIA because they managed to schedule an interview with reclusive North Korean dictator and fan of “Skylark Tonight” Kim Jong-un (played by Randall Park). CIA Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) plans to use their access to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

If you were expecting biting satire from this movie, you are going to be disappointed. For a movie that caused so much controversy, “The Interview” is little more than your standard male-driven comedy. The men are goofy, and the women are one-dimensional. “The Interview” gets some solid laughs, but never pushes the envelope.

The movie fails to say anything particularly insightful about North Korea’s leader. Instead of presenting a complex portrait, “The Interview” offers an American caricature with little truth to drive the comedy. If the best satire has reality behind it, this movie fails in that regard.

One of the movie’s strong points is when it satirizes the media’s constant coverage of celebrities’ lives. “Skylark Tonight” is a great parody of TMZ and MTV celebrity news. It does a great job showing how insane our celebrity culture has become.

At the beginning of the movie, Rapoport threatens to leave the show because he wants to cover hard-hitting news. I find this ironic because this film is exactly the kind of media junk food that Rapoport condemns. It is generally enjoyable, but in the end it doesn’t offer anything substantial.

“The Interview” is worth watching if you enjoy a low-brow buddy comedy. Just don’t let the hype that surrounded the movie’s release raise your expectations. In the end, critics should take “The Interview” for what it is and not for what we wanted it to be.

I don’t think Rogen or Franco are concerned about the poor reviews people gave “The Interview.” The movie got more publicity than any Oscar-winning film will this season. In the words of Skylark: “They hate us ’cause they ain’t us.”

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