the interviewThere isn’t a lot left to say now that this movie has dominated the national discussion, largely because of the extra-cinematic circumstances surrounding its initial non-release and Sony’s subsequent reversal. To restate the obvious, however, it’s a somewhat shapeless, very hit-and-miss, mostly brainless bromance masquerading as a political satire, which had it been about a made-up dictator would have come and gone at the multiplex after doing modest business and making not a ripple. You’ve already read 50 other reviews that say the same thing. Accentuating the positive, here are some genuine, if stupid, laughs in the movie: the North Korean child sweetly singing “Death to America”, Eminem “coming out”, Rob Lowe bald, “they hate us ‘cause they anus”, and… and… I’m struggling to remember any other chuckles. The ones listed are in the first half-hour or so. After that, it flounders, especially at the end where it cannot stay aloft both literally and otherwise. Randall Park, who has gotten such good notices as dictator Kim, is too restrained and serious for a farcical villain; he doesn’t come close to capturing the man child (or even the look) of the genuine article. Surely, the filmmakers can’t have wanted us to feel badly for Kim when he blows up — but the assassination isn’t a satisfying “gotcha” moment. I’m a Franco fan, but he’s painfully unsubtle here. And Rogen seems half asleep. If striking a blow for free speech is your goal, you might want to do what some theater-goers are apparently doing in Los Angeles: buying a ticket, and then not showing up for the screening. — Jeff Schultz

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