Matt’s review published on Letterboxd:
(Exploit: Sony's rental copy can be downloaded since it's DRM-free. Heh.)
"You know what's more destructive than a nuclear bomb? Words."
This is most likely the most controversial movie of the year, if not the decade thus far. The film that caused North Korea (or someone who hails the Glorious Leader) to actually meltdown and cyber-assault Sony. Movies and emails leaked. Reputations, careers and bank accounts ruined. Debates about free speech, integrity and publicity stunts. The retribution being North Korea's ENTIRE INTERNET getting taken down.
It's all come down to this. A limited theatrical release and a slightly earlier VOD launch, with Obama and all involved in making this movie praising the heavens.
So, how's the movie?
The plot is basically celebrity talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco), and his cohort Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) celebrating their 1000th episode of Skylark Tonight together. However, Aaron meets up with an old friend, who's the senior producer over at 60 Minutes, and is mocked for not reporting on "real news". This changes when Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park) notes that Tonight is one of his favorite shows (along with Big Bang Theory and Housewives of New Jersey). Of course when the CIA, led by Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan), catches whiff of these happenings, they kindly ask for Un to be "taken out".
For one, it's a bit over-reliant (edit: okay, it's a quarter of the movie) on toilet humor. Decent amount of buttholes and dicks and shit jokes. However, there's also an equal balance of satire. Not necessarily biting or scathing, but it's there. For instance, Dave and Aaron argue about what Skylark Tonight could be, and Dave says something along the lines of "Real news? THIS is what the people want, omnomnom."
The biggest issue, and this was well-expected, is that for all the controversy surrounding this......it's actually rather mild. It never gets worse than that "infamous" ending, and even that isn't much to get ruffled over.
However, the acting is competent for a "stoner comedy" and there's a massive abundance of energy, particularly from Randall. I don't think I've ever seen anyone else have so much fun playing as an evil leader.
So, it isn't great. I don't think anyone except diehard Rogen/Franco fans were expecting it to be. If you like their comedies, you'll probably like this and vice versa.
Should be seen for: freedom, democracy and the Lizzy Caplan way.
Also, the discussion scene is great stuff.
Greatest use of a Katy Perry song ever, including directly from her.