• I am the editor, it is Christmas Eve, and nobody else is working. Shouting into an open room in my father’s house,IS THIS A GOOD IDEA? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE STORY yielded no answer, so I’m just gonna publish this and see what happens.
• I would warn you about spoilers, but no spoiler could be as awful as the one perpetrated by Sony in drumming up so much froth over this mediocre film that you now actually care about whether or not I am going to drop any details. I mean, this thing is riddled with more bad CGI and continuity holes than Fictional Kim Jong-un’s helicopter when James Franco shoots it down with a tank missile in the final battle scene. For example, when Seth Rogen safely returns to America after successfully taking part in the interview and assassination of Kim Jong-un, he gives someone a hug and you can see that his fingers, which were bitten off in a scuffle in the North Korean TV control room, are still there. Woops!
• My favorite movies are Man on Fire, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the Gene Wilder one), and Tokyo Drift—and I cried at the end of each. So I am probably not qualified to review this movie. Or maybe I am?
It was Christmas Eve, and many of us sat weightily around various homes, hoping our grub-pale skin would darken a shade in the blue light of some Internet amusement: We clicked through Twitter feeds and Facebook posts. We Tumbled. And then Sony shredded one more turn on this ridiculous mountain of free publicity around their controversial release-nonrelease-release of The Interview: They released it after all, and got streaming providers in on the act.
Can we all please take a moment to marvel at Sony’s luck? A month ago, The Interview was the cause of widespread shrugs in theaters across America. A few days later, we were reading emails from Sony execs bashing Angelina Jolie. And then last week, President Obama was talking about this crapbasket buddy film in a press conference during which he also discussed one of the most pressing environmental decisions facing our government. No legislators are talking about Whiplash, which is actually supposed to be great.
At best, most of us would have been dead-laptop excited to watch this movie on a plane, two weeks after its theatrical debut. THEATRICAL DEBUT INDEED, SONY.
I do not think North Korea hacked Sony on behalf of this movie. I do not think North Korea hacked Sony. After watching this thing, I kinda think Sony hacked Sony. Bravo, guys. Masterstroke.
And here’s the other thing: If I’m Kim Jong Un, I come away from that movie being like:
• “Sweet, Americans are actually terrified of me.”
• “Sweet, Americans think I am a savvy sociopath rather than just some fat and petulant boy king.”
• “Sweet, Americans think I party like a boss.”
• “Sweet, they got that awesome guy from Veep to play me.”
There is no way North Korea hacks Sony over this film—if anything, Pyongyang would be calling up whatever Sony exec didn’t just get fired for gross misconduct over email and offering to finance the sequel instead of feeding its people.
So yes, I watched this movie. But there is not a lot to say about it: It’s a comedy and it’s OK. I laughed a few times, and picked up on all the half-ass foreshadowing that excuses itself for moviemaking. If I had seen it in a theater, I would not have walked out, but I might have taken a nap.
But more importantly, this direct-to-digital distribution deal is the best possible outcome. Because if you went to a theater to see The Interview, you would have paid at least $10 a head for the privilege. On YouTube, it’s six bucks to rent, and you can gather the whole family around the Chromecast. It’s a Christmas Miracle.