Dave Skylark is a trash celebrity show host. His producer Aaron Rapoport gets verbally beat down by a former colleague about his career choice, rather then taking on serious journalism. Rapoport asks Skylark to help change the tone of the show. So they agree to make the show about legitimate news stories. The next day they start researching and find out that the leader of North Korea is a big fan of the show. So Rapoport asks one of his connections in North Korea to interview him. They get a call back from North Korea’s US ambassador and set up the interview.
I liked this film for the most part. However I need to point out that there wasn’t really any reason for all the hype. Yeah I can see how the North Koreans might be offended by all of this, but it is purely fantasy. To a certain extent it seems to blend the right amount of reality and hokey, almost, cold war like jokes to make a serious subject just down right funny and separate it from its real world context. Most of the comedy are stupid mishaps which could happen during any spy movie or behind the scenes of a show. So it makes it feel more plausible. As for the political side, I doubt there was that many political undertones. I honestly didn’t notice any. Sure they have violent song demonizing America, just like in North Korea. However it takes a lighter tone, politically, just by leaving out some of the more serious issues of that nation. It only touched lightly on them to push the story along.
The development between the characters was entertaining to watch. Franco and Rogan were a interesting dynamic since usually they’re both idiots. The love story between Seth Rogan and Diana Bang was cute. Usually romances in spy movies either feel forced, sappy, or even cliche. The subplot didn’t really miss a beat with all the comedy and was apart of the jokes. That’s what I love about the characters of this film. It very much feels like they are apart of the joke or they are a walking joke. Their personality just seems quirky enough that it seems to help with the pacing of the jokes and gives some credibility of being plausible.
As for the acting goes, everyone did rather well. James Franco was great in this jerky shallow, yet lovable, role. Seth Rogan compliments Franco as the straight man in this film. This was different from most of his roles and hopefully he’ll pursue more serious roles. Lizzy Caplan was lovely and stern as the CIA agent who recruits them. Randall Park (who played President Kim) was cartoonish in some areas, but did well coming off as subtlety creepy. I thought he excelled in the kinda comical areas where Kim admitted to Skylark that he loved Katy Perry and tons of other American stuff. But, hey, who doesn’t like Katy Perry? Diana Bang did a decent job being a complete stereotype that we see in every other spy movie involving screaming Asians. Although she didn’t ham it up too much so it wasn’t oppressive.
This was a strange movie to say the least. It’s filled with random sight gags, situational humor, and well timed crass humor. The humor doesn’t interrupt the pace of the story and compliments the characters well. It might not make you bust out laughing, but it’ll give you a warm smirk throughout the film. It, unlike most other Rogan/Goldberg movies, had tasteful gore rather then trying to mirror Quentin Tarantino level of grotesque effects. I’m not sure if there was any political commentary, but it was a fun movie to watch for New Years Day.
Try to at least see it once. However you should remember that the humor in the trailer is pretty much the standard throughout the film.