Why you should watch The Interview (even if it might suck)

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Bust terrorists in the balls by seeing The Interview. Photo © 2014 CTMG
Bust terrorists in the balls by seeing The Interview. Photo: Sony Pictures

Whether you head to a theater or stream it in the comfort of your home, you really ought to watch The Interview this weekend.

The action-comedy, about two journalists on a mission to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, has become the unlikely must-see movie of the Christmas break — and it’s your patriotic duty to see it, like it or not.

If you’re a fan of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s brand of over-the-top obnoxious comedy, your brave local indie cinema is the place to see the controversial film. Imagine the party atmosphere when moviegoers, many of whom will take the pineapple express to the theater on Christmas day, converge to laugh at the satiric film. Nothing’s better than a rowdy crowd for a half-baked comedy.

If you don’t dig the dick jokes and black humor that will undoubtedly punctuate the film, simply stream The Interview at home — numbers count when it comes to viewership of this North Korea-bashing comedy.

Hell, buy it online even if you don’t want to soak in all 112 minutes of the movie’s comedic assassination fantasy. Do it for your country — do it for freedom — if not for yourself.

In case you’ve been living in a small commie country whose Internet mysteriously went dark in recent days, Sony originally pulled the R-rated film from its Christmas debut after The Interview caught the attention of alleged North Korean hackers who infiltrated the movie studio’s corporate network.

Those black-hat data thieves, apparently outraged by the film’s premise, plundered Sony’s basest secrets and threatened terror attacks on theaters that dared screen the comedy. (Note: While the White House fingered North Korea as being behind the Sony hack, the jury is still out. North Korea denies involvement in the attack but warns worse is coming.)

In some ways, the ridiculous and poorly worded threats of the hackers, who call themselves the “Guardians of Peace,” were the greatest thing that ever happened to The Interview. Now the film, which has received mediocre to crappy reviews from people who’ve actually seen it, is riding on a wave of nonstop news coverage. Sony lost millions due to the hack attack, but the publicity The Interview has scored is priceless.

Watch The Interview or the little dog gets it. Photo: Sony Pictures
Watch The Interview or the little dog gets it. Photo: Sony Pictures

Watch The Interview — for freedom!

So, why should you watch The Interview? Nothing could be a more powerful statement against this kind of supposedly state-sponsored cyber-bullying than having the film turn from probable flop to cultural touchstone.

If The Interview tanks, it’s not like the terrorists win. But if the film — with a limited release in 300 or fewer theaters and an early pay-per-view online debut — dents the box office charts, it will be America symbolically flipping the red-white-and-blue bird at the forces of oppression.

That message will be heard loud and clear in Pyongyang. Hollywood will also be closely watching this unusual release. With just the limited theatrical release, The Interview wasn’t expected to break the box office’s top 10. Depending on just how many people see it online and in theaters, it could deliver a telling message about the future of theatrical releases in this time of rapid change, as studios experiment with release channels.

In this case, Google and Microsoft stole the show from Apple: The Interview was released Wednesday through Google Play, YouTube and Xbox Video.

You can rent it for $5.99 or buy it for $14.99 from those services, while Apple reportedly rebuffed Sony’s bid to release The Interview through iTunes. (You can watch it on Apple TV, though.) Netflix is supposedly in talks to stream the movie, too.

Will The Interview go down in history as a great movie? Probably not. But will your friends and co-workers be talking about it, one way or the other, over the holidays and during next week’s lazy run-up to New Year’s Day? Absolutely.

You should be part of that conversation. So watch The Interview, either in the theater or at home on your iMac’s gigantic screen. If you don’t do it for your own entertainment or simply to sate your cultural curiosity, do it for Team America.

No matter whether the film is great or a terrible piece of juvenile drivel, paying to see it is a hilarious way to make those hackers’ laughable terror threats go up in smoke. And maybe Sony should spend some that extra The Interview coin on better cybersecurity.