Well, we had to watch this, even though we didn’t think it would be much good. Our expectations were not disappointed; it really isn’t much good. I laughed at this ‘comedy’ maybe two or three times. Although it has an ostensibly political theme, the laughs are supposed to come from the usual gross-out subjects – farts, vomiting, things being shoved up arses…
For once, it’s possible to say that this film wasn’t released, it escaped. Those of a conspiratorial bent might be tempted to consider whether Sony manufactured the controversy to avoid releasing such an awful film, or even to ensure that some people would watch ‘in defence of free speech’. If it had been released in the normal way it would certainly have bombed.
It doesn’t really deserve a detailed review. The talk show host and his producer go to North Korea intending to follow through on the CIA’s request to assassinate Kim Jong-Un; then the host finds that Kim isn’t so bad after all and doesn’t want to kill him, then he finds out that he is, after all, really bad and does want to kill him. Then they decide not to kill him but to ask him difficult questions on air, rather than the prepared ones, so as to humiliate him before his people. But he ends up getting killed anyway, and we see his body burning as the plucky duo shoot his helicopter down from a stolen tank.
Once again, this film has lots of gay themes. Early on we see Eminem come out as gay on air. Kim Jong-Un is worried that his liking for margheritas and Katy Perry might be taken as proof that he is gay. The producer and talk show host are not in a gay relationship, but they are very affectionate buddies. The producer has to insert what is in effect a very large butt plug into his anus to hide a second delivery of ricin poison from the North Koreans. I suspect that sympathetic depictions of gayness are now an important signifier of ‘civilised values’ – by including some nice stuff about gay people this film proves that it is not merely patriotic warmongering trash like ‘Red Dawn’.