The Kim Jong-un Assassination Comedy You Didn’t Know You Wanted

Slate's Culture Blog
June 12 2014 1:55 PM

The Kim Jong-un Assassination Comedy You Didn’t Know You Wanted

the interview
Seth Rogen and James Franco in the first assassination-themed bromantic comedy.

YouTube

The Kim Jong-un assassination comedy you’ve been waiting for (right?) is finally here: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the directorial team behind last summer’s apocalypse spoof This Is the End, return this fall with The Interview. Part action comedy, part bromance, the film reunites Rogen with the ever-ubiquitous James Franco. The pair met on the set of the short-lived but much-loved TV series Freaks and Geeks and drew big crowds with the stoner comedy Pineapple Express (and got big laughs by sending up the “Bound 2” video).

In the film, talk show host David Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rappaport (Rogen) travel to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un (played by Veep’s Randall Park). The mission takes a turn when they’re recruited by a CIA agent (Lizzy Caplan of Party Down and Bachelorette fame) to assassinate the dictator. The trailer, in which Caplan’s character reports that “Kim Jong-un’s people believe anything he tells them, including that he can speak to dolphins,” at least flirts with genuine offensiveness. But the American would-be heroes seem to be the butt of most of the jokes.

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Rogen took the time to explain the nuanced methodology behind the film: “It's kind of the formula we always do, which is we take a genre we like and add idiots to it. It’s like This is the End is a horror movie with idiots in it and Pineapple Express is an ’80s action movie with idiots in it. So this is our 3 Days of the Condor with idiots in it.” So far, the formula seems to be working. The Interview hits theaters in October.

Eliza Berman is an intern in the culture department at Slate.

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