Seth Rogen co-wrote, is co-directing and starring in The Interview, a comedy with an October release date that is about a couple of guys who get charged with the task of assassinating Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of North Korea.
In a surprising turn of events, Jong-un is not too pleased with the idea.
When I first read the movie description of The Interview a couple of months ago, its boldness definitely startled me. I thought two things — either Columbia Pictures (its distributor) and everyone else involved with the film thought that North Korea is so detached from the world that the film would never get to them … or they just didn’t care.
Obviously, it’s the latter, because nobody is that naive.
What struck me most is how non-politically correct this film is in an age where everything is politically correct. All it takes is one ill-advised quote, with just a hint of racism — either in public or behind closed doors — and you’re finished. Just ask Donald Sterling. Heck, even one Tweet can ruin some one these days.
And yet, a movie, which will be viewed by millions, makes light of an assassination attempt.
I’m aware that North Korea is so volatile that it will never be taken seriously by the United States while its current regime is at the helm, but … is it still a good idea to try to piss them off? Barack Obama isn’t stupid enough to publicly acknowledge this movie, or make a statement saying that the film is in no way endorsed by the United States government, but, I genuinely wonder if he even considered doing it?
That being said, it’s a screwball comedy that I’m sure in no way reflects any real word themes. But, it was enough to warrant a response from Kim Jong-un, and now, Seth Rogen will probably not be invited as Dennis Rodman’s +1 on his next trip to North Korea.
There is precedent for American films mocking foreign dictators still in power, however — and North Korean ones at that. We all remember 2004’s Team America: World Police’s hilarious (albeit animated) portrayal of Kim Jong-Il. Six years earlier, the same filmmakers, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, made a mockery of Saddam Hussein (also animated) in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
And nearly 60 years before that, Charlie Chaplin mocked Adolf Hitler with the made-up character Adenoid Hynkel in arguably his most famous film, The Great Dictator, which courageously was released right at the start of World War II, when the war’s result was still very much in doubt.
So it’s nothing new.
I still find it amusing that as our nation becomes more politically correct by the day, movies like this one continue on outside of that bubble.
But at the end of the day, I guess all the American public really cares about is if it’s funny or not.
Which means people probably stopped reading this blog a long time ago.