December 26, 2014

During these last few weeks, we have been witnessing a surreal sequence of events involving Sony Pictures and the film 'The Interview', which culminated with the interference of the White House and some threats going back and forth between the Unites States and North Korea.

With the movie finally premiering online and in theaters on Christmas Day, I can't help thinking about how this was really a well thought out guerrilla marketing campaign, simply to promote a movie that is as funny as a tomato in a fruit stand.

'The Interview' seems to take some inspiration from the amplified graphic violence that Quentin Tarantino portrays in most of his movies, a kind of "B Movie" violence that is so pathetic and outrageous that almost seems cartoony and rather humorous (remember 'Kill Bill' and those excessive squirts of blood coming out from several dismembered limbs?). But, unlike the movies of Tarantino, this unconventional way to create humor does not seem to flow with the plot, full of predictable sexual jokes and expected situations. To make things worst, the characters don't blend well together and there is no real chemistry between them.

James Franco plays the part of Dave Skylark, a conceited TV presenter with an appetite for fame and a fetish for Gucci bags. Like the character himself, Franco is pompous and pretentious, spending the whole movie pulling endless, overacting, "Jim Carrey type" moves that he can not really master. Don't get me wrong, I think James Franco can act and, somehow, he was able to make his comedic timing work with Saul Silver, the stoned marijuana dealer in 'Pineapple Express' (2008), but he did it without any effort and that character seemed to be credible in it's own caricature. That does not happen this time.

In contrast with the exaggerated acting of James Franco, Randall Park, who plays the role of Kim Jong-un, gives life to a boring character with a lot of personal issues. Because the movie really wants to emphasize the fact that Kim Jong-Un is a total sham, the "supreme leader" is characterized as an absolute snooze fest in his most intimate side, the only side you will actually see throughout the movie. I guess the reason behind the real Kim Jong-un's anger could be the fact that he is not represented as a fashionably deranged dictator, as it would be expected. You will not see a lot of synchronized dancing crowds bowing before a powerful leader.

Seth Rogen? Well, he is Seth, always the same Seth with the same good-natured personality he imprints in every character he portrays. This time, he is Aaron Rapaport, a TV producer. That's it.

The contrast between the different personalities does not really work and the story takes you exactly to the place you expect, as you expect. No surprises, no genuine laughs and, for a movie that is now destined to make some sort of movie history, that's a shame.

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