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Posted by on Dec 26, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment, Media, Movies, North Korea, Terrorism | 10 comments

Critics loathe “The Interview”

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There are two things you can now say about the withdrawn and now not (totally) withdrawn movie “The Interview,” which was pitchforked into the headlines by North Korea’s hacking of Sony Pictures’ website and threats to give a taste of 9/11 terrorismat movie theaters that dare to show it:

1. Seeing it is now a political and freedom statement.
2. Watching it is an ordeal..if you’re a critic.

Fans seem to like it. But most critics hate it and its now doing something among critics that no politician has done in a long time: it has created a consensus.

Movie critics say the controversy surrounding “The Interview” is much more interesting than the movie itself

The movie is scoring just a 50 percent positive review from critics on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

It’s fairing even more poorly with top critics, who give it a measly 32 percent positive rating.

The film is doing better with regular fans, however. It gets a 73 percent “liked it” audience score from Rotten Tomatoes.

Critics say the satire about a television host and producer asked by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jung-un doesn’t deliver the goods.

“Characterizing it as satire elevates the creative execution of the film’s very silly faux assassination of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un far beyond what it merits,” writes Betsy Sharkey in the Lost Angeles Times.

In the Village Voice, Stephanie Zacharek writes that “The Interview” is “contrived absurdity” and that it has very little payoff for all the trouble it caused.

Slate’s Aisha Harris argues that those looking for a satire of North Korea are better off re-watching “Team America: World Police,” the puppet movie created by the makers of “South Park” more than a decade ago.

One performance does stand out in the move, according to several reviewers.

Randall Park, who plays Kim Jung-un and is (SPOILER ALERT) blown to smithereens in the movie, is a “riot throughout,” according to Roger Friedman of The Independent, who gives the film a positive review.

Sharkey also singles out Park’s performance as the highlight of the movie.

Sony Pictures initially pulled “The Interview” from its scheduled Christmas Day release after hackers threatened to stage September 11-style attacks at theaters that showed it.

Major movie theater chains then said they would not carry the film, which North Korea had declared an act of war given its plot.

Sony reversed itself this week, announcing it would not only screen the movie in select theaters, but that it had worked out deals with several companies to show the movie online and on-demand.

You’re not going to see “The Interview?” What are you — against standing up for free speech? Are you going to let North Korea win? Are you that much of a wuss that you won’t go down to the theater and sit there and defy threats and watch a movie that MUST be good and worthwhile since it upset North Korean?

That’s pretty much the unspoken argument for seeing it.

I can’t wait to read about the sequels centering on taking out Putin, ISIS and the person who designed California freeways.