We Saw 'The Interview' Weeks Ago, And It's Clear Why North Korea Hates It

The climactic moment that portrays Kim Jong-un’s head gets blown up is clearly the main reason why North Korea is upset with Sony’s “The Interview,” but the movie is filled with other things that the hermit dictatorship would not like.

North-Korea-linked hackers savaged Sony, forcing the company to cancel the movie’s release by leaking thousands of private documents and threatening to leak more.

We saw it a few weeks ago at a screening with Seth Rogen himself as he drank beer and high-fived the audience. Here are some parts that we enjoyed but North Korea might not [WARNING: SPOILERS]:

  • The opening scene portrays a young Korean girl singing a beautiful and poingnant song that we realise — through subtitles — is so virulent anti-American it’s laughable, with lines like: “May they drown in their blood and feces.”
  • The film quickly establishes a plot to assassinate Kim. It happens after Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), the broadcast news producer of fluffly news show “Skylark Tonight,” and host Dave Skylark (James Franco) discover that Kim is a huge fan of their show. As soon as they set up an interview with the dictator, they are contacted by the CIA with a request that they take him out.
  • Randall Park’s portrayal of Kim is one of the film’s greatest assets. While on the surface he’s cold and intimidating, Kim frequently acts ridiculous, such as when he meets Skylark and turns into a shrieking fanboy. Tons of laughs stem from this relationship, as Kim takes Skylark on his own personal tour of his country, complete with fruity drinks, Katy Perry sing-a-longs, adorable puppies, and general, juvenile tomfoolery.
  • While Skylark starts to think Kim and North Korea aren’t half-bad, there’s a turning moment late in the film when Rapoport rushes into a North Korean supermarket only to find that it’s filled with fake food. The functional society is a sham, and North Koreans are actually starving. 
  • The most offensive and buzzed-about aspect of the film is the assassination itself. The original plan put in place by the CIA was to poison the dictator with a ricin-strip that Skylark was to apply during a handshake with Jong-Un during the interview. But when the moment comes, Skylark no longer has the ricin, and instead he tries to use the television airtime to turn North Korea against Kim by making the dictator appear weak on camera. When Kim realises what’s happening, he pulls out a gun and shoots Skylark on air — but Skylark is wearing a vest and survives.
  • As Aaron and Skylark make their escape, they steal a North Korean tank as Kim  flies above in a helicopter and prepares to kill them both as well as launch nuclear weapons all over the world. The particularly controversial head explosion occurs here, when Aaron and Skylark fire from their tank and effectively blow up the helicopter and Kim Jong. The camera lingers on Kim Jong’s exploding face as Katy Perry’s “Firework” plays in the background, making the moment even more surreal and over-the-top. 

Leaked emails revealed that there was some tinkering behind-the-scenes to tone down the sheer violence on display during the Supreme Leader’s death, and the version shown to audiences isn’t nearly as graphic as it was previously. The exact specifications of these changes have also been made public.

Following Sony’s cancellation of the release, the US announced their intention to officially blame North Korea for the hack since they now have gathered enough evidence to claim they are “centrally involved.” The White House officially responded also, stating that the US plans to continue investigating that the FBI has the lead.

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