Crazy show host Dave (James Franco) and his dad, producer Aaron (Rogen), unexpectedly get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The invitation to go to Pyongyang and do an exclusive interview with the North Korean Supreme Leader in the special edition of the show program ‘Skylark Tonight’, seems like the realization of the most beautiful dreams. The leader is a big fan of their show, so he gladly agreed to answer a few questions (which he will choose, of course) in front of a multimillion-dollar audience of the domestic and world public. The partners are thrilled, but the initial enthusiasm will abruptly subside when CIA agents get involved in the whole story.
The constant race for an original, fresh script has led to numerous screenwriting teams gaining a legitimate right to serve us almost anything that comes to mind. The idea of making fun of the hated political opponent of the USA, who is presented in the eyes of the American public as an unscrupulous dictator, seemed appropriate at first, because we saw similar moves 30 years ago during the Cold War confrontation. For the sake of illustration, it is worth mentioning Top Secret, as a reliable model for exploiting an enviable amount of humor.
The author of the hilarious story, Dan Sterling, wanted to see the current tense political situation from a different angle, in the form of a comic presentation of two mufflers ready to do anything to raise the rating of a show that no normal person takes seriously. The parody of pop faces here is used to remind us how we have strayed, to point out the twisted sense of humor that we have unconsciously accepted by recklessly consuming media-exposed goods placed in the form of talk shows or the like. Obviously, partners Franco and Rogen got their fingers involved, giving suggestions on how the characters they play will look, behave, and even talk (there are a few tricks on the intonation of certain parts of the dialogue between the two, just turn to attention).
It was immediately clear in which direction this crude political satire is leading us, to which essentially nothing is sacred, so no one is spared. Neither Stalin nor Stallone, least of all Eminem or Katy Perry. It is indisputable that there is humor, but that in some segments some sketches exceed the threshold of tolerance and the measure of good taste (for example, emphasizing the male anus). Therefore, the conclusion is that the action is incoherent, because after the promising introduction, the other half loses the thread and is simply reduced to a bunch of thrown-in fora and fazona, without any order. The mockery on the topic of media manipulations turned out to be great, because throughout the plot it runs through the unconventional relationship between leaders and dictators, only to culminate in the end, in the form of a hilarious catharsis of the main protagonists.
The standard acting releases of the playful duo – James Franco and Seth Rogen, give a recognizable touch to the whole story. What seems refreshing is the way the character of the dictator (and the main villain, is he) came to life in the great Randall Park. Diana Bang also stood out, as Suk, a close associate of the Great Leader, showing solid comedy skills. I have to admit that the set design is just as authentic (especially that social-realistic architecture), including a well-stocked grocery store. Henry Jackman is credited with making the comedy sound great, and the insertion of the classic Scorpions in the end is a total madness that thrilled me, which is said to have taken off my shoes.
When the line is drawn, it is a solid comedy because it will make you smile sweetly at times and, above all, entertain you well. The fascinating media campaign contributed to raising a lot of dust before the eagerly awaited screening of the film began. I can freely say that objectively there were no arguments for such a thing, because apart from a topic that strikes the nerves of the people of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (or maybe just its political elite), everything else offered by Hollywood pranksters is certainly not worthy of so many comments, controversy, and even serious threats.
This is just a fierce joke that is worth watching, with a warning to be sure to reject all the prejudices that accompanied the comedy even before the start of distribution. Only in this way can you make your own judgment regarding the qualitative scope of this action-political papacy.