So, here we have it. The film that almost started World War III. The film that Sony were so adamant it was going to release they refused to listen to threats from North Korea, even ignoring the fact that they were being infiltrated by “The Guardians of Peace”, a hacking group from North Korea.
It’s a shame it’s such a terrible film.The premise of the film is thus. Dave Skylark (James Franco) is a popular trash entertainment TV presenter in USA and has his own show called Skylark Tonight. However, as they reach their 1000th show his producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) longs to produce something with a bit more depth. When an unlikely interview with North Korean leader Kim Jon-Un (Randall Park) becomes a reality, their breakthrough into high-brow entertainment is quickly turned into an undercover CIA mission to assassinate the leader. Hilarity ensues.
The humour in the film is generally derived from one of two sources: poking fun at the North Koreans or crude toilet humour gags. At one point a botched administering of ricin leaves the two stranded in North Korea without the ability to complete the mission. The CIA, in a continuity-challenging move, send over two additional ricin doses in a small rocket. Rogen, by this point facing imminent death due to a stray tiger (what?) and a group of about 15 guards closing in on him decides the only way to save the day is the insert the entire capsule into his anus.
Elsewhere we discover that Kim Jong-Un is a huge fan of cocktails and Katy Perry. He has emotional issues due to disconnection and lack of approval from his father. He regularly spends time with prostitutes. Despite their differences to the Western world, North Korea is a proud nation with a lack of understanding of the ways of the west. On this level it is understandable why this film would cause them a serious issue.
It’s a shame that this film has no sense of intelligent writing that has been on display in the creative outputs of both of its lead characters. Of all the films to fall flat with, it’s most unfortunate that it happened with a film that had the eyes of the world focused on it.