What Are Critics Who Saw ‘The Interview’ Saying About It?

Despite what North Korea wants, despite what its mercenary hacking army wants, what the Supreme Being Leader Of Almighty Power Of God Voice wants, what even some pundits from Fox News want — somehow, someway, we’re going to get The Interview. Because, as Mr. Universe said in the indispensable cinematic marvel known as Serenity, “You can’t stop the signal.” (He also said, “Guy killed me with a sword, Mal,” but that’s neither here nor there.)

The film is out there in the ether; it’s draining itself down the sloshing path of a rocky basin, the feint contours of Seth Rogan’s curly rings of hair and James Franco’s squinty eyes — buckling underneath the weight of his smile — can be seen in its reflection as it tumbles, searching for a way to find it to the reservoir of information: the interwebs.

Perhaps, Sony won’t make a dime off of it. Perhaps, like many film and music ventures these days, someone will merely swipe a copy of it, burn it to their hard drive, and release the majestic beast into the wilds of our hearts, like a two-ton Unicorn bursting through the confines of an evil wizard’s cage.

The President doesn’t agree with Sony. Sony said it had no alternative. Kim Jong-un said, “Checkmate, hoes!” It all leads to a lively conversation about politics, terrorism, patriotism, and so many other ‘isms, that one could write a graduate thesis about the calamity. But, no amount of logical arguing or petitions from George Clooney are going to manifest and beam the most controversial film of the year into our Google Glass.

So, for now, as we wait, postponing our fanciful fantasies until they come fruition, fully realized in the form of Franco’s glaring tooth cave and Rogen’s knotty hair follicles, we must endure…and listen to what the critics had to say…

Chris Cabin at Slate smelled what The Rogen and The Franco were cooking, and did not like it:

For all the hoopla that’s been made over the Sony hack and Kim’s demands that the film be pulled from release, The Interview is all talk, a sheep in wolf’s clothing, which makes its frivolous politics all the more odious.

Alonso Duralde at The Wrap is turning in a split-decision scorecard:

There’s a lot to like here, whether it’s a cameo by Eminem (as himself) making unexpected revelations on Skylark’s show or the Franco and Rogen team’s awkward encounters with no-nonsense establishment types from Langley to Pyongyang. Ultimately, however, “The Interview” could have benefited from a little more rigor in the editing room and a little less decadence in its running time. A little creative totalitarianism every now and then can work wonders.

Tess Hoffman of The Playlist admires the courage of the film, and believes the gamble paid off:

As it turns out, Goldberg and Rogen navigate this minefield of prurient humor and political incorrectness with aplomb, delivering a high-concept spy thriller comedy that feels as carefree as This Is The End, while managing not to ruin the thrills by too clumsily dumbing down the realities the film plays with.

Drew McWeeny of HitFix thinks Rogen and Evan Goldberg have crafted another comedy classic:

“The Interview” is laugh out loud funny all the way through, and once again proves that Rogen and Goldberg will do anything, no matter how dark, for a big laugh, and that character is just as important as punchlines in their work.

Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice says that the risky nature of the film was not bolstered by a good finished product:

When The Interview takes a dark turn, neither Rogen nor Franco proves adept enough to steer around the story’s sharp curve. The movie feels pinched and mean-spirited, even for one designed to skewer a powerful and dangerous lunatic.

Jake Coyle of The StarTribune loves Franco’s performance:

Despite the large presence of Park’s dictator, this is really Franco’s movie. Seemingly energized by his more outlandish performances (like his Alien in “Spring Breakers”), he’s here in full, grinning Jerry Lewis-mode, a rubber-faced infotainment parody. His chemistry with Rogen is predictably solid.

There you have it my purveyors of patriotic pugilism. We may not have laid eyes upon The Interview, but remember — keep up the good fight! Talk to your local representatives. Send e-mails and letters to those with bolder voices than thee. Shout off the highest roof or mountaintop or precipice so the rational creatures may hear you bellow the sweet sounds of freedom! And, keep it in that full heart of yours, the one that pumps the oxygen and lifeblood that colors our nation’s flag, that although we have lost this battle, the war still rages…and this war will not conclude until we get our Rogen-Franco.