“They hate us, cause they ain’t us.”
If I had to pick a quote from the recently released The Interview that would be the quote I would go with. If you haven’t heard, The Interview is the latest comedy that pairs seemingly real life best friends James Franco & Seth Rogan together in co-starring roles. The film’s plot follows a celebrity TV host and his producer (Franco and Rogan respectively), as they are tasked with the role of interviewing, and assassinating real life North Korean president Kim Jon Un. As ridiculous as the plot sounds, the film itself follows suit. It’s pretty simple, if you enjoyed films like Pineapple Express & This is the End, this film will probably be up your alleyway. It features a lush vault of immature laughs, which you’ll probably be referencing with your buddies for weeks.
The movie itself is funny, but I personally can think of funnier films I’ve seen. What is most interesting about the movie is the controversy surrounding its premise and release. It seems the idea of a film plotting to kill Kim Jon Un was not very popular in certain circles. North Korea has notably denounced the film as a work of American propaganda fueled by the American government. Related to this disdain is anonymous hacker(s) who have taken such immense umbrage with the idea of the film, they’ve gone to all out war with Sony. As someone who’s been keeping up with it, let me tell you it’s been a rough couple of months for Sony. The hacker group started by attacking Sony’s emails, leaking out lots of dirty laundry that was once private into the public sphere. Even worse, the hacker group unleashed personal details (including social security numbers) of Sony employees once again to the public. It got so bad; Sony’s reboot of Annie was leaked weeks before release. The final strike came when the hacker group threatened an attack on the scale of 9/11 if the film were to be released on it’s intended date of December the 25th. It was at this point things got serious. Sony offered theaters the chance to opt out of showing the film, which almost all theaters took immediately. The lack of theaters participating led Sony to cancel its release of the film. Thankfully the public forum of the internet exists and the outcry of it’s cancelation led the web ablaze, and within a few days it was back on like Donkey Kong, and the film was scheduled to be released in an unprecedented way. While some independent theaters had signed up, the big push came from the films release to the Internet. For just six dollars, you can log on to Youtube and view The Interview in all its glory.
While an event like this can be discussed in many ways, I like to see this in the frame of the advancement of media. For a long time it’s been easy to ignore the Internet, but with platforms like Youtube and Netflix rising in popularity, a major blockbuster being released directly to the Internet was bound to happen. I’m glad we’ve reached this point, and it makes me stoked for the future.
If you want a nice laugh to enjoy with a few friends, watch The Interview. While the films content may not be super strong, its impact will forever be memorable. I think that’s something to marvel about.
Enoch Ncube, Online Contributor
Photography: Screenshot from The Interview