“They hate us because they ain't us!”
After teaming up successfully in last year’s This is the End there were high expectations for Seth Rogen and Evan Golberg’s second film. They had the bro-buddy comedy elements entirely right in their apocalyptic film, but this time around I felt some of the jokes miss the target. The problem is that the first time around they basically made fun of themselves and the entire film industry, while now they tried to mix that bro-buddy humor with a political satire focusing on the North Korean government. There are also a few attacks at the way America has handled these interventions internationally which were witty, but for the most part the film felt like it missed on most of the jokes. There were some incredibly funny moments which you know you’ll get from Seth Rogen and James Franco because they have such great chemistry together. This is the sixth time they’ve collaborated together (but really only the third time they’ve both starred in a film together) and unfortunately this is my least favorite. I still think Pineapple Express is their best work and it was there where they first experimented with the bromantic comedy elements. They’ve pushed the boundaries over their next films making the bromance seem gayer. An important issue I had with this film revolved around the pacing which after awhile became a little tedious. I did enjoy some aspects of the film and found the segment where Seth Rogen’s character is looked down upon for not being a serious producer as a witty comment on his own acting, but he knows what he is good at and sticks with it.
There were a lot of doubts whether or not this film would be released in theaters after the North Korean government threatened Sony, but ultimately freedom prevailed. Honestly, I really didn’t see what all the fuss was about. It ended up getting more publicity and more people watched the film because of it. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best collaboration between Rogen and Franco. I did enjoy some of their scenes together, but I think Randall Park stole the show as President Kim. His scenes with James Franco playing basketball and driving the tank were probably my favorite in the movie. At times the jokes felt repetitive, but the funniest scene of the film for me was the tiger incident with Seth Rogen. Even though I didn’t enjoy the film as a whole I did find sporadic scenes working really well for me, so I still had a decent time with this film. The female characters seem to be the weakest link for Rogen and Goldberg’s film as neither Diana Bang nor Lizzy Caplan get interesting things to say or do. There are some hilarious cameos however and a lot of pop cultural references (mostly from The Lord of the Rings and Katy Perry lyrics) that work half of the time.