‘The Interview,’ Spoiled
The Interview, a Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy about North Korea, was panned by critics and expected to bring in a mediocre box office showing. Until hackers got involved. Sony Pictures Entertainment, which owns the movie, was hit by one of the largest corporate cyber attacks in history. Terabytes of data were allegedly stolen. The hackers released data dumps from Sony executives’ email and cuts of pre-release movies. When the hackers threatened “9/11 style” violence and theaters pulled the film, watching it became an act of patriotism. It was released today on YouTube’s movie rental service. Warning: this entire post is spoilers.
The movie opens on a young girl singing a song about how much she hates America. Behind her, a rocket with I guess a nuke blasts off into the sky. We cut to a montage of American news outlets talking about the show of force. Cut to James Franco introducing Eminem. The joke is that his show is talking about something trivial while the rest of the world is taking about this new threat from North Korea.
James Franco starts reading Eminem’s lyrics about hating old people. Then Eminem says off the cuff that he is gay. Everyone including Seth Rogen, who is in some kind of behind the scenes role, starts freaking out. “Eminem’s gay on our show! Gay Twitter is blowing up!” This is kind of funny.
Cut to the afterparty. Seth Rogen has been with the show for ten years. It is revealed that he is a “real journalist.” James Franco throws him a surprise party. Outside the party, Seth Rogen runs into an old college pal who now works for “60 Minutes.” The guy is a dick to Seth Rogen because Seth Rogen produces “fun eating disorder” news, not serious news.
Back to the studio. Seth Rogen is sighing as James Franco interviews Rob Lowe about the fact that he is secretly bald. Suddenly, they’re kicked off the air for a special report about North Korea. Afterward, Seth Rogen tells James Franco that they should do more serious news. James Franco agrees because he does not want Seth to leave the show.
Back at the office, Seth Rogen is on the phone with John Kerry’s office when James Franco comes in waving an iPhone. It is an article about how Kim Jong-un’s favorite shows are The Big Bang Theory and their show, Skylark Tonight. “I’m going to do that interview!” James Franco says. Then a producer comes in and says there is footage of Matthew McConaughey having sex with a goat.
Seth Rogen comes out of a club drunk. He gets into a taxi and gets a call from an unidentified number. It’s the communications office for North Korea. They want to discuss the possibility of an interview. Seth Rogen doesn’t believe them at first and acts a little racist, then apologizes by saying “I’m so solly” before correcting himself to “I’m so sorry.” They agree to meet in person in China.
Montage: Seth Rogen in China.
Seth Rogen goes to the meeting spot in the middle of the mountains. A North Korean helicopter lands. Some soldiers with guns run out and then a sexy lady walks out and tells him they can interview the Supreme Leader from inside North Korea. All questions will be supplied by the Supreme Leader. The helicopter takes off.
Seth Rogen goes back to the studio to tell everyone what happened. James Franco talks him into doing the interview even though Kim Jong-un is supplying all the questions. He falls back on a Lord of the Rings inside joke and asks Seth Rogen to come with him to Mordor. Seth Rogen agrees.
James Franco announces the interview. The media rips him apart for glorifying a dictator. Seth Rogen has second thoughts. James Franco tells him “they hate us cause they ain’t us” and it sounds like “anus.” Then they do ecstasy.
The next morning, a sexy lady agent comes over to ask James Franco and Seth Rogen to assassinate Kim Jong-un. James Franco is yelling about how his dick stinks from the night before. They go to the CIA for a briefing. The sexy lady agent tells them to shake Kim Jong-un’s hand with a concealed ricin strip of poison which will take 12 hours to metabolize and kill the Supreme Leader. James Franco objects to “offscreen death.” “This is a major television event!” he says. He mimes a “money shot” and pretends to jerk off some invisible men onto his face.
The CIA starts training James Franco and Seth Rogen. They get fancy watches and a special bag to carry the ricin. They go to the airport.
They arrive in North Korea and are greeted by a bunch of dancers and Sook-yin Park, the sexy lady who met Seth Rogen on the mountain. They get in a limousine. She tells them that Kim Jong-un does not have a butthole. “He has no need for one.”
They arrive at an imposing building. Security searches James Franco’s bag. He has replaced the CIA bag with a Gucci bag to be more stylish. A security guard takes the piece of gum that has the ricin strip in it and chews it, ensuring he will die in 12 hours.
Seth Rogen and James Franco call Agent Lacey. She arranges to send more poison. A missile launch operator is seen chugging a Red Bull. Seth Rogen has to go outside to intercept the new poison. There is a possibility he may die. A tiger comes up as Seth Rogen is crawling toward the spot. Seth Rogen tries to run away from the tiger. The tiger jumps on him but the missile with the new poison hits the tiger in the neck and kills it.
However, Seth Rogen is not in the clear. There are people coming with guns and he has to hide the poison. Agent Lacey and James Franco tell him to put it up his butt, which he does unhappily.
The North Koreans bring Seth Rogen back and search him but do not search his butt. Then there is a knock at the door and it’s Kim Jong-un. He is a superfan of James Franco. They hit it off immediately. They are both fans of Katy Perry. They play basketball at a shortened hoop and hang out in a tank. Then they hang out with Kim’s honies. James Franco starts to have second thoughts about the mission.
Seth Rogen and James Franco have dinner with Kim Jong-un. As they are watching some tiny boys play guitar, the guard who ate the gum starts sweating and shaking. He vomits and as he is having a seizure, he somehow (???) shoots the other guard. Kim Jong-un and his entourage all start wailing over their loss. James Franco tells Seth Rogen he is out. They make “pull out” double entendres. They have their first real fight. James Franco destroys the second ricin strip. Seth Rogen puts the third ricin strip on his hand and tries to shake Kim’s hand. James Franco stops Kim, telling him not to shake Seth’s hand because he is a Jew. “Gross,” Kim says.
While Seth is trying to take the ricin strip off his hand, Sook-yin Park comes to the door. She wants to review new questions for the interview. Seth Rogen says okay even though he is worried about the ricin strip, which is still attached to his hand with adhesive. He and Sook-yin start bonding. They start making out but Seth Rogen still has the ricin strip on his hand.
Meanwhile, James Franco is at a dinner with Kim Jong-un, who is becoming paranoid and losing his shit. As Kim pounds on the table, James Franco gets a little freaked out and leaves the room. He walks into a grocery store and discovers all the fruit is fake; Kim lied to him. He starts shaking his fist at the Dear Leader’s picture.
The illusion is starting to fall apart. Seth Rogen and Sook-yin are getting it on “no hands” when she has a breakdown and admits that she is a propagandist for a cruel dictatorship. Suddenly, James Franco busts in. Sook-yin hides in the blankets. James Franco starts hitting the bed in frustration, just missing her. He asks Seth Rogen if he still has the poison. Sook-yin jumps out of bed and says she wants to help them — but not by killing Kim. By doing the interview.
They give James Franco a pep talk. He must get Kim to reveal that he is not a god while all of North Korea is watching.
It’s show time. The interview is coming up. James Franco has memorized all the facts about North Korea. He and Seth Rogen have a best friend talk. They mouth “I love you” at each other.
Montage of Kim getting ready, buzzing his hair, putting on a pin with his face on it, tucking a gun into his boot.
Kim brings James Franco a puppy that looks just like the puppy James Franco had as a kid, which James Franco loves. Montage of North Korean families, soldiers, and Americans watching the show.
The first question is whether Kim does karaoke.
Sook-yin is worried that James Franco is only reading the scripted questions. Seth Rogen says he has totally bailed on the plan. The reaction from people watching in the US from James Franco’s studio is embarrassment. Suddenly James Franco turns on Kim and asks why he does not feed his people, accusing him of spending $800 million on nukes a year when 16 million people are starving.
The North Korean team in the studio gets ready to cut the feed. Sook-yin and Seth Rogen pull guns. One of them bites part of Seth Rogen’s finger off and blood spurts out, which is horrifying.
James Franco continues to grill Kim, but Kim asks him about sanctions from the US, which James Franco is unprepared for. Meanwhile, some North Korean generals realize that something is up and they need to cut the feed. They start to head toward the studio. James Franco is panicking as Kim Jedi mind tricks him. Seth Rogen bites one of the studio guys’ fingers off, and then the studio guy bites another one of Seth Rogen’s fingers off.
Kim tells James Franco he has proven nothing. James Franco says that he has always looked for people’s approval, and reminds Kim that he is the same way. He asks Kim about how his father said margaritas, which Kim loves, are gay. He starts quoting Katy Perry lyrics and Kim starts to cry and breaks down. Then he poops his pants, proving that he does have a butthole after all.
Kim stands up and pulls the gun from his shot and shoots James Franco. James Franco looks into the camera and dies dramatically. Kim leaves the room. James Franco pops back up and reveals he was wearing a bulletproof vest, which the CIA had told him he would not be able to do. Everyone watching rejoices.
Sook-yin, James Franco, the puppy, and Seth Rogen try to escape the studio. Guns everywhere. Some North Koreans try to stop them, then a young North Korean soldier helps them. They get into Kim’s tank to escape.
Meanwhile, Kim is arming the nukes. He is so angry that he shoots one of his henchmen in the butt and tells him his butthole is ironic. The chase ensues. A shootout ensues. James Franco fires a missile at Kim in a helicopter, which goes down in flames in that scene we’ve all seen. Katy Perry plays. The nukes are disabled.
Sook-yin ditches them to go back to Pyongyang. James Franco and Seth Rogen run through a secret tunnel and are rescued by SEAL Team Six, just as James Franco had predicted at the CIA. Seth Rogen realizes Sook-yin honeypotted him.
Next scene: James Franco is reading from his tell-all book. Seth Rogen Skypes with Sook-yin (second prominent mention of Skype — product placement??) The end.