The Interview, Seth Rogen and James Franco’s newly freed buddy comedy about assassinating Kim Jong Un is now available online. After weeks of being at the center of a controversy involving the alleged North Korean hacking of Sony Pictures, terrorist threats, and the sudden cancelation of the film's release to the public, the media narrative has finally settled back on to what it should have been about from the start: The Interview's relative merits as a movie.
So far, that assessment has not been pretty. The Interview currently has a 54 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (that’s pretty rotten). But whether the movie deserves all the attention it has received, the hype is there, and movie watchers have a decision to make: Should I spend time on this?
The simple answer, as many of us concluded long ago is "no," while the more nuanced answer is “maybe, but probably not.” For those on the fence, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide if the hype is worth it.
Do you like Seth Rogen/James Franco movies?
Anyone who watched Pineapple Express, or worse, Your Highness, knew that The Interview was going to be a giant cesspool of poop jokes. There are—Spoiler Alert!—dong jokes, offensive Asian accents, and several conversations about things going in and out of butts.
Kim Jong Un (played by Randall Park) sharts himself on live television. In another scene, James Franco’s airhead TV anchor Dave Skylark spends about 30 seconds describing what his genitals smell like after a night on ecstasy.
If that sounds like something you’re willing to subject yourself to, by all means, see this film!
Do you care about ethics in journalism?
The central tension of the film—other than the fact that Franco and Rogen's character's set about assassinating a world leader—is that Skylark (Franco) becomes good friends with Kim Jong Un. They play basketball, shoot missiles, and party together. The North Korean leader treats Skylark to a few meals and gives him a puppy, all to sway his opinion so he won’t ask about concentration camps, or realize that the grocery store isn’t real. The only interesting aspect of the movie is how likeable they made Kim Jong Un.
If you can’t think of a single other movie about journalists and/or journalism ethics—like All the President’s Men, Almost Famous, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas—then suit yourself.
Do you think watching the movie is patriotic?
As Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus argues, seeing The Interview is not just about going to watch a truly mediocre film, it's about making a political statement.
"It's important that American families are given the freedom to attend the movies — or otherwise enjoy time with family and friends in any way they choose," Priebus said in a statement Wednesday to the RNC's donor base.