I can’t remember a movie surrounded by as much controversy as “The Interview” – and not even for its content. Before the lowbrow comedy was even released, Sony Pictures, which produced the film, was the target of a cyberattack by North Korea.
Fear of repercussions and intimidation from North Korea initially caused Sony to cancel the release of the movie, but it later decided to show the movie at select independent theaters across the country.
After news of Sony’s cancellation, I immediately urged President Obama to take a stand and show the movie at the White House for members of Congress followed by a serious discussion of the strong, substantive measures we plan to take as a nation against cyberattacks. I told the president that bringing all of Congress to watch this movie together would send a strong, clear message that America will not be intimidated.
He didn’t take me up on my offer, so my wife Wendy and I went to a matinee showing at Chalmette Movies over the holidays. (Thanks again for the super hospitality and gumption, Ellis Fortenberry and Chalmette Movies team.)
Overall, I’d recommend seeing this movie mostly because of the important, patriotic message it sends in support of our American principles. Standing up to the North Korean dictatorship and in defense of freedom was more fulfilling than the movie itself.
But “The Interview” is definitely funny. There are some spot-on jokes about an oppressive nation, especially humorous given its antagonism toward the U.S. in the real world. Big caveat: I’d certainly recommend leaving the kids at home.
In the film, James Franco, a talk-show host, and his producer, Seth Rogen, are contacted by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to travel to North Korea to interview him.
Before they go abroad, the CIA intercepts Franco and Rogen and recruits them to assassinate Kim Jong-un. The ensuing adventure is crude, crass and immature – but definitely had Wendy and me laughing. And it all ended in a clever, inspiring way, if that’s possible for such a lowbrow fest.
Most importantly, seeing “The Interview” helps underscore that North Korea can’t have any reason to think bullying and intimidation will truly endanger American principles like freedom of speech. Ultimately, that’s why I smiled through “The Interview,” and I encourage you to see it, too.