James Franco is the presenter of a rubbish celebrity news/interview program, produced by Seth Rogen. They find out through internet sources that the dictator of North Korea – Kim Jong Un – is a big fan of their show. They both see this as a big opportunity to boost their popularity and credibility.
As you all know, this is the film that sparked up the shitstorm of controversy with real life North Korea, who made online and real life threats because of it. So, can you see why Kim might find it offensive? Well not especially. Sure it’s a little bit racist, and contains scenes of Kim doing a poo. But it’s hardly hurtful material.
So, it’s not satirical at all, but is it funny? No, it’s not really. Throughout the duration I laughed once. And that wasn’t even at one of the big jokes. As with every other Franco/Rogen films, the main source of the humour is the chemistry between the two actors, but to be honest while I totally went with it for their first few (Pineapple Express is actually quite funny) I have since lost patience. And without the gags that come from the chemistry, we are left with fart/poo jokes and a string of gags about sexuality that at best were kind of awkward and at worst were downright homophobic.
Another problem the film has, is that at the end it tries to morph into an action comedy. And while we have already established it’s not too hot on the comedy front, it’s even worse at action. It mixes truly awful cgi (seriously this is the kind of cgi the makers of Sharknado wouldn’t be proud of), and shaky cam visuals.
Something I’ve always found odd about the partnership between Franco and Rogen is that James Franco is a proper actor, like he can really act. Whereas Seth Rogen, well Seth Rogen sometimes plays Seth Rogen well, and sometimes not so well. And I’ve always found that quite amusing. More amusing than the interview to be honest.
Overall, if you are going to watch this because of all the controversy is created you are going to be horribly horribly disappointed. It’s really not very good at all. It starts quite promisingly with something that resembles a satire of news channels, but after that it bottles it and turns into the normal Franco/Rogen film only its set in North Korea.