WELL, THAT HAPPENED: ‘The Interview’ puts finger on the trigger

By on December 23, 2014

(Image: Sony Pictures)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – The threat came in on December 16: “Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

After the infamous Sony Entertainment hacking event last month that uncovered the substandard script for the upcoming James Bond film, SPECTRE, and quoted Sony producer Scott Rudin calling Angelina Jolie “minimally talented,” “a spoiled brat” who possessed a “rampaging … ego,” it’s now been discovered that this whole event is due to The Interview. The film, starring Seth Rogan and James Franco (everyone’s favorite under- and overachiever, respectively) deals with a talk-show host and his producer who score an exclusive interview with Kim Jong-un. The CIA pick up on this event, and ultimately force Rogan and Franco’s characters to assassinate the Glorious Leader.

With Sony attempting to make amends with everyone and their mother after the initial hack, the threat from the alleged North Korean hackers has forced them to cower in a corner. As of the writing of this article, the film has been pulled from release completely, although a few rumors linger stating that Sony will possibly offer some type of limited or on-demand release.

President Obama believed Sony’s decision to pull The Interview was a mistake. “We cannot have a society in which some dictators someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” he said.

North Korea denies involvement in the hacking events, but the United States is adamant that their intelligence verifies the allegations. In turn, North Korea offered to help investigate the real hackers, and lovingly added that if the United States does not accept their help, they will retaliate.

Is it any surprise that the free world is on the brink of collapse because of a James Franco movie? Those critics who have seen the The Interview offer mixed reviews (52 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) while Internet users who haven’t seen the film think it’s the best movie ever made (an average 10/10 on IMDb).

Now, I’m of the group of people who thought Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds (2009), which detailed a fictional assassination of Adolph Hitler, was an incredibly insensitive, pointless film. It takes a fairly fresh era in history and completely desecrates it to make some idiotic point about revenge with gratuitous violence for the sole purpose of showing a scene in which a Jewish-American fires multiple machine gun rounds into Hitler’s body and face.

Personally, I don’t think free speech should be a challenge. “How much can we get away with?” is not a rational way to pursue creativity and I completely understand (though don’t agree with) North Korea’s response to the film. At the end of the day, Kim Jong-un is still a human being.

For some reason, regardless of its tasteless subject matter, people are backing The Interview. It seems to have the perfect formula for people to rally behind: a violent comedy, the Rogan/Franco pairing, the oft-mocked Kim Jong-un, and some drum banging for free speech. But what if The Interview was a North Korean film depicting the assassination of President Obama? Surely we’d have a smattering of grassroots Republican supporters crying out for free speech and buying out theaters, but would the United States retaliate against the filmmakers or chalk it up to our principles of free speech?

Double standards are plentiful in this ordeal. I can only hope Sony figures it out before we are nuked, or, even worse, subjected to another Spider Man reboot.

About Andrew Munz

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