I don’t think it will come as much of a surprise to anyone that The Interview is already ruffling some major feathers, just days after the arrival of its first trailer. In the button-pushing comedy, which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, a talk show host (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) travel to North Korea to interview dictator Kim Jong-Un, only to find themselves recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.
As you can imagine, the North Korean government probably isn’t too pleased to find itself displayed as a horrifically backwards dictatorship (though anyone who knows anything about the rogue nation will assure you that it deserves every criticism it receives). And though the country’s government itself has not yet responded to The Interview, Kim Myong-chol, executive director of The Centre for North Korea-US Peace, and an unofficial spokesman for the Kim regime, recently fired back at the movie while speaking with The Telegraph.
Kim was dismissive of the comedy, criticizing it as being demonstrative of the U.S.’s gung-ho attitude towards political assassinations and military invasions:
“There is a special irony in this storyline as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society. A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy – Americans. In fact, President [Barack] Obama should be careful in case the US military wants to kill him as well.”
Kim took a shot at Hollywood as a whole, attacking American films as being “full of assassinations and executions.” He noted his preference for British films, stating, “James Bond is a good character and those films are much more enjoyable.” (I seriously doubt he’d extend that statement to Die Another Day, however, considering that the North Koreans were major baddies in that Pierce Brosnan outing.) Intriguingly, the spokesperson said that Kim Jong-Un will likely watch The Interview despite its premise.
In response to that, Rogen tweeted:
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) June 20, 2014
Is The Interview a step too far? Well, I’m not certain that a movie mocking the North Korean government and advocating for a violent assassination of its leader is the best thing for US-North Korea relations at this time, given how strained they are already. Regardless, at least when The Interview opens on October 10th, we’ll find out if Kim Jong-Un can take a joke or not.