The Interview

Rated 2.0

We've been had. Only last week The Interview looked like a symbol for the limits of free speech in the world of omnipresent surveillance and cyberterror. Now that Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen's idiots abroad comedy has been made available to the world via VOD and a smaller-scale theatrical run, it all seems like an elaborate head-fake designed to turn a toxic, sloppy, drastically unfunny comedy into a headline-grabbing, day-and-date release experiment. James Franco stars as a fatuous TV host and Rogen plays his producer, a couple of bumbling slackers recruited to kill the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Franco and Rogen can be very funny, but here they engage in the sort of one-note racist and homophobic hijinks that should be beneath them by now. If the villain were a fictional creation like Sacha Baron Cohen's Admiral General Aladeen from The Dictator, there would be nothing worth talking about. D.B.