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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Their trip to North Korea just went south.

The Interview

Plot Overview

“The Interview” with a release date of 24 December, 2014 (USA), i.e. Christmas Eve, opens with a North Korean school­girl singing a mock Christmas-type song—some might call it idolatrous—to “Our Beloved Leader” who is wise, gentle, kind and strong: “We wish him joy. We wish him peace. We wish him love.” Just what we (in the free world) wish each other that time of year. Then the song turns ugly, the English subtitle reading, “Die America, die.” The scene switches to a news­cast (“North Korea launches missile”) of some saber rattling by this wise, gentle, kind and strong leader.

Now we go to an Entertainment Tonight type celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight” that's in the process of inter­viewing Eminem. Talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) is criti­cizing his lyrics for being mean to old people. After Skylark quotes some about wanting to kill an old woman, Eminem retorts that he twisted his words—but they're really pretty straight­forward. Dave then moves on to criti­cizing other of his lyrics for being disres­pect­ful to women—they are. Eminem in his justification throws in, “I mean I'm gay.” Skylark back­tracks to that spot asking what he meant, as “Gay can mean a lot of things.” One should note at this point that indeed gay can mean brightly happy like our Christmas carols or the Korean one where the singer tells us in her gay tune, “It would fill my tiny little heart with joy” to witness the destruction of America. Gay can mean given to social pleasures (as in, “That's so gay!”) or LICENTIOUS. The sentiments Eminem's lyrics just conveyed were that kind of gay. Dave does well to check before he says some­thing that would subject him to a libel suit, but Eminem clarifies that indeed he's a homosexual.

Meanwhile in the control room his producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) is going crazy (“Eminem's gay on our show!”) for outing a celebrity. The phone rings off the hook. The ratings go sky high. Dave Skylark concurs: “This is like Spike Lee saying he's white.” They start lining up more grist for the mill, a guy with a goat (“Get that goat! I have some questions.”) The movie audience is in stitches.

Dave takes Aaron someplace (“It's a surprise party for you”) to celebrate the program's 10 year run, 1000 episodes. Happy 1000! the banner reads, and they consume a lot of alcohol. It looks to me like a thinly disguised New Year's (Happy 2000+) celebration produced to maintain the holiday spirit while avoiding the satiation of routine expressions. Aaron runs into an old school chum who's now a producer on 60 Minutes, and he equates their two careers to each other. His chum puts him down by saying, “I report real news.”

When “Skylark Tonight” gets preempted by news of a Korean missile test (“They just cut our feed”), Aaron starts thinking about becoming a real news show. “We have to change” is his "new year's" resolution. Opportunity comes knocking with a phone call on behalf of a fan in the East, North Korean leader Kim Jong–Un (Randall Park) who improbably makes arrangements for an interview. That gets them some press.

The next morning sexy CIA agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) comes calling with their own designs on the noble leader that go like this:

Agent Lacey: The CIA would love it if you two could … take him out.

Dave Skylark: Hmm?

Agent Lacey: Take him out.

Dave Skylark: Take him out?

Aaron Rapaport: For drinks?

Agent Lacey: No, no, no. Take him out.

Dave Skylark: Take out … like to dinner?

Aaron Rapaport: Take him out to a meal?

Agent Lacey: Take him out.

Aaron Rapaport: On the town?

Aaron Rapaport: To party?

Agent Lacey: No.

Agent Lacey: [sotto voce] Take him out.

Aaron Rapaport: You want us to assassinate the leader of North Korea?

Agent Lacey: Yes.

Dave Skylark: Whaaaaaaaat?

Here we're back to where we were in that first Eminem interview: the meaning of words. Although the individual words take & out both have several meanings, combined into a dyad take out and asked by the CIA to be done to a head of state, they have but one meaning, to assassinate him. That's irrespective of what is or isn't legal any­more as we're dealing with linguistics not with legalities. Agent Lacey will provide them with a trans­dermal time delay ricin strip to use via a hand­shake to administer a fatal dose of poison. The strip is to be secreted in a hidden pouch on Skylark's CIA supplied traveling bag. Lots of luck.

For the trip to the east we come back to words in a “Fa La La La La” Christmas carol where every year, “Don we now our gay apparel,” gay in this dyad meaning brightly colored, the expression “gay apparel” stemming from early Puritan prohibitions on brightly colored clothing mentioned in James 2:2-4. Dave is not so Puritanical as to be satisfied with the plain CIA bag, so he makes a “fashion statement” with his own gay (i.e. brightly colored) one. Oh, well.

Just as Skylark was easily manipulated by a spook honey pot to go over on an errand, once there Kim Jong–Un manipulates him with a Potemkin village and a line of bs. But they do form kind of a bond, Kim sharing his inferiority complex due to his father calling him gay. He wonders, “Do you think margaritas are gay because they're so sweet.” He likes margaritas, and the sweet taste is evidently an echo of David's original inter­view concerning the killing of a proverbial sweet little old lady. Kim's also insecure over his liking of the Katy Perry tune, “Firework,” especially the words on feeling “like a paper bag.” Again an echo of the maligned old bag in the first inter­view. Only here we get evidence—lots of evidence—that Kim and Dave are both hetero­sexual, and if Kim is gay it's in the social pleasures and licentious sense, he being willing to actually kill a lot of old women and millions more in a nuclear confla­gration. Fortunately Christmas Eve this year, 24 December, is also the last day of Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday over a military victory, so Dave and Aaron may team up like the Christian and Jewish holidays to attempt to thwart a dark power, like Frodo and Sam marching into Mordor.


To recap, “The Interview” starts with a schoolgirl singing a song that's happy and gay then switches to a TV interview about (rap) words and then to one in particular: gay that the host has to vet from among its several meanings to avoid any libel suit. The segment of a homo coming out on their show incites a “real news” station producer to put down this small potatoes show who then aspires to greater things. A really big inter­view provides the opportunity. The inter­vention of the CIA with its spy talk illustrates an exclusive meaning of a dyad irrespective of its individual two words and of legalities. Traveling with a gay accessory the show's host puts the movie audience in mind of another dyad, gay apparel, that shows up in our seasonal songs. Finally, Kim Jong–Un's bellicose threats, gay in the licentious way, bring us full circle to the mean rap lyrics we started out with. What I'm wondering is how well a “real news” outlet handles the gay word when used in a dyad?

The one I have in mind is for a man to, (Eccl. 9:9) “Live joyfully with thy wife whom thou lovest all the days of thy life.” Couples marry with the hope of living their lives together joy­fully, that is to have a happy marriage to the point that at times it could be termed a gay marriage. In the movie “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” Bob and Carol's marriage turns licentious and offends Alice who looks for her marriage to Ted to be reflected in theirs. We'd call it an open marriage rather than a gay (i.e., licentious) one, because as noted above, a gay (i.e., joyful) marriage is what all couples aspire to, and we don't want to offend Alice. Petitioners in my state (Oregon) promoting same-sex marriage took care not to call it gay marriage so they wouldn't offend people (whose signatures they needed.) News­papers here that were just out to sell papers and were not so careful about what they say used the dyad gay marriage indis­crim­in­ately. This movie released in art house theaters, featuring a lower rung news outlet, seems to put the big boys in their place.

Production Values

“The Interview” (2014) was directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen. Its screenplay was written by Dan Sterling with input on the story from Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg. It stars James Franco and Seth Rogen whose chemistry working together is perfect and whose performances flawless. Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan, and Diana Bang gave excellent performances, as well. Cameos by Eminem, Rob Lowe and Jo Gordon-Levitt were amusing.

MPAA rated it R for pervasive language, crude and sexual humor, nudity, some drug use and bloody violence. Filming location of Vancouver, BC, Canada, stood in for North Korea, not that anyone could tell the difference, because who goes there? I found the photog­raphy praise­worthy, being one of the few points in which the movie really stands out. Stunning visuals and land­scapes aid in the immersion in the plot.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

“The Interview” had a perfect blend of humor, action and drama (and a smidgen of romance.) Make no mistake, this is low brow humor. The audience was in stitches and had me going, too. I recommend seeing it in a theater for that reason. Since Kim Jong–Un was the villain, we can't expect a flattering portrayal, but western audiences are savvy enough to know not to judge a leader just by his big screen depiction. A critical subtext seems to be an English lesson directed at pretentious big news outlets. I enjoyed this movie and give it my recommendation.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.