A movie review written by: Lee Sonogan
Korean Girl: [singing] Our Beloved Leader is wise. He is gentle, kind and strong. We wish him joy. We wish him peace. We wish him love. And the one thing in our time, we wish more than this is for the United States to explode in a ball of fiery hell. May they be forced to starve and beg, and be ravaged by disease. May they be helpless, poor and sad and cold! They are arrogant and fat. They are stupid and they’re evil. May they drown in their own blood and feces. Die America, die. Oh please won’t you die? It would fill my tiny little heart with joy. May your women all be raped by beasts of the jungle while your children are foooorced to watch!
This movie nearly caused a war in real life! IMDB describes the movie as Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport running the celebrity tabloid show ‘Skylark Tonight’. When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission. The line of Korean above the movie title images translates as “Please do not believe these ignorant dishonorable Americans!”.
On June 25, 2014, North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency condemned the film without naming it and promised a ‘merciless’ retaliation if the film is released. “Making and releasing a film on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated”, KCNA said, citing a government spokesman.
In late 2014, Sony Pictures was the victim of a major hack of their computer systems, in which confidential corporate information, and several unreleased complete movies were posted for public consumption. The F.B.I. announced it had credible evidence the hack was orchestrated by North Korea in retaliation for the film’s storyline, which involves a plot to kill the real North Korean leader, a claim that was quickly denied by the North Korean government.
This film marks the sixth collaboration between Seth Rogen and James Franco. Seth Rogen and James Franco shot a parody of Kanye West’s ‘Bound 2’ music video on-set during filming of the film. In one interview, Seth Rogen stated that he considered, among other unnamed actors, Matt Damon for the role of Dave Skylark before James Franco was cast. Also, Brad Pitt was considered for a role, but he declined.
For a short while, this was rated with a perfect ten out of ten. This was due to several online petitions to inflate the movie’s rating, as a protest to those who wished to censor it. However, this rating would not be enough to get it into the IMDB top 250, because the algorithm to calculate this takes many factors into account. After the theatrical and internet release, the score dropped significantly.
The film is based more on political thrillers than action comedies, with Seth Rogen citing Ridley Scott and Michael Mann movies as influences. Even though the movie has some interesting imagery and special effects. About half of the humour is not as good as you would expect. A lot of cheap jokes and references. With the acting, there are not many strong scenes worth remembering. The ending has some good action in it. I recommend this movie to people fans of Seth Rogan and James Franco.