Hollywood, satire, threats: Controversy over The Interview leads to record online sales

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the world, many creatures were stirring as corporate tech giant Sony was preparing to release its controversial film The Interview. For months prior to the Christmas release, the technology conglomerate had been plagued by a series of scandals stemming from a hack that released volumes of sensitive company material to the public.

The unknown hackers, who called themselves the Guardians of Peace (cough cough North Korea), made some not-so-peaceful threats to Sony if they went ahead with the release of the film, saying they would attack any theater that showed the film, prompting the temporary cancellation of the release. However, as champions of free speech who never bow down to terroristic threats (and thanks in no small part to a mountain of bad publicity from the President and the public), Sony went ahead with the release in a number of small theaters, as well as online mediums. Partly out of curiosity, and partly out of a desire to infuriate North Korea, I decided to watch the film and see for myself.

Basically, the film revolves around an eccentric duo of newscasters who are locked in a serious bromance with each other; the show’s producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen), and TV personality Dave Skylark (James Franco). Their show, Skylark Tonight, is a satirical comedy news show that focuses on celebrity gossip. However, after being ridiculed by his colleagues from serious news networks, Rapoport wants to legitimize his show. He does this by landing an interview with the current leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, who is a fan of their show. When the CIA asks Skylark and Rapoport to assassinate the dictator, the two embark on a journey to the rogue nation that includes fighting tigers, fake obese kids, and no small amount of sexual encounters and political intrigue.

Overall, the film was not unlike any other raunchy comedy produced by Hollywood in the past few years. Titles such as Pineapple Express, 21 Jump Street, and Superbad come to mind when thinking of The Interview. The plot was creative overall, the comedy was funny, and the cinematography and effects were on par with a film that cost $44 million to make. It wasn’t a bad film, and to be honest, it kind of made me not hate Katy Perry’s Firework as much as I did before. I would recommend it for anyone who isn’t afraid of a little adult comedy.

With that being said, I don’t think The Interview was a life changing experience by any stretch of the imagination. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for bringing down tyrannical, aspiring nuclear terrorist dictators as much as the next guy, but I feel thoroughly unchanged after watching this film. It made me laugh for a solid hour, but after that I was more than happy to go about my simple holiday routine, aka sleeping. I would caution those who are innocent or have families from watching it. There is some nudity and a lot of profanity, so try to avoid that awkward watching with your parents when naked people come on moment.

So there you have it, you can decide yourself to watch it or not, but at least you have an idea of what to expect.

P.S. no theaters or moviegoers were attacked when watching this film, so I wouldn’t worry too much about a North Korean commando unit storming your living room if you do decide to watch this film.