Can Seth Rogen and James Franco make anything funny? For instance — and this is just totally random — could they make a film about a pair of sort of stupid, definitely dumb, but assuredly tight friends who infiltrate North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong-Un? What if that film, for all its serious-sounding material, really looked like the close cousin of Pineapple Express? Funny, right? And certainly strange? We thought you’d say that.
Turns out, that’s a real movie! No, really. It’s not veiled at all. Franco and Rogen’s next outing, The Interview, is not about a couple of guys tasked with killing the head of a nuclear-armed country named, uh, West Dorea, which is led by a guy named Jim Kong-Nu. This movie is about North Korea and Kim Jong-Un, and that’s both totally bonkers and really kind of bold.
Directed by Rogen and his other best pal/creative partner Evan Goldberg (the pair wrote the film with Dan Sterling, known for his work on television shows like “The Office” and “King of the Hill”), The Interview centers on a pair of best friends (obviously) who unwittingly get involved with a really, really bad idea. Franco is Dave Skylark, the host of late night chat show “Skylark Tonight,” which is produced by his brainy best pal, Aaron Rapoport (Rogen). It seems that most of Dave’s material is kind of fluffy (a lot of Hollywood celebrities and such), and when he starts longing to do something actually meaty and meaningful, he lands a plum interview — with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
That plotline alone could spark some pretty funny situations, but it’s the addition of another caveat that sends The Interview over the edge. Before Dave and Aaron can get to North Korea, they’re approached by the CIA — who ask the pair to kill Kim. Oh, sure! Easy! Okay! Let’s see what sort of mishaps and hijinks the film’s teaser trailer has in store for us:
You know this is a Franco and Rogen production, because there’s quite clearly a big scene where they amusingly express their love for each other. Cute.
Moreover, although the film definitely looks funny, it still does have some very serious material to work with — and while its comedic branding would often mean that, hey, this has to end with some laughs and everyone safe and happy (well, besides Kim, probably), Rogen and Goldberg are from the “kill your darlings” school — remember the end of This Is the End? Not everyone made it. It stands to reason that, nope, not everyone here will make it here either. That’s some dark comedy, but still comedy nonetheless.
The film also stars Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, and Diana Bang.
The Interview opens on October 10th.
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