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Arts & Life

Bob Mondello Watched 'The Interview,' So You Don't Have To (Really, You Don't)

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Our movie critic, Bob Mondello, downloaded and watched "The Interview" at the airport yesterday while waiting for a flight. We asked him if it was time well spent. Here's his answer.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: You set the bar pretty low when you're killing time in an airport. By that standard, "The Interview" qualifies as standard, I guess. James Franco plays Dave Skylark, a tabloid TV star who thrives on, say, Rob Lowe revealing he's bald by removing his wig on camera. Seth Rogen plays Aaron Rapaport, his producer, who's put aside his hopes of being a real journalist to stick with Skylark because they're buds to the max. Then, Skylark gets news that could mean Rapaport gets a break.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE INTERVIEW")

JAMES FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) Look at this.

SETH ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) Kim Jong-Un wants to do an interview with Dave Skylark?

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) He's a fan. Look at him. If that ain't a real story, what is?

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) OK. Let's do it.

MONDELLO: Just one problem that reveals itself when they reveal their interview on the air.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE INTERVIEW")

LIZZY CAPLAN: (As Agent Lacey) Mr. Rapaport, I'm Agent Lacey with Central Intelligence. You two are going to be in a room alone with Kim.

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) We got the interview.

CAPLAN: (As Agent Lacey) The CIA would love it if you could take him out.

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) Hm?

CAPLAN: (As Agent Lacey) Take him out.

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) Like, for drinks?

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) Like, to dinner?

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) Take him out on the town?

CAPLAN: (As Agent Lacey) No. Take him out.

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) You want us to kill the leader of North Korea?

CAPLAN: (As Agent Lacey) Yes.

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) What?

MONDELLO: In the years since Franco and Rogen costarred on "Freaks And Geeks," they have specialized in stoner comedies when they work together. "Pineapple Express" was their bromance. Last year they went apocalyptic in "This Is The End," a title that turned out to be what they'd probably call a premature expostulation. Next year, they have an animated comedy called "Sausage Party." I don't even want to think what that's about. Since with "The Interview," they've actually managed to tick off a nuclear-armed nation. Let's just say North Korea overreacted. "The Interview" is not really a political satire, not even a satire of tabloid journalism. It's just another bromance predicated on butt jokes - lots of butt jokes.

(SOUNBITE OF FILM, "THE INTERVIEW")

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) He's peanut butter and jealous.

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) What is there to be jealous of?

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) They hate us 'cause they anus.

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) They don't hate us 'cause they anus.

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark, singing) Hate us 'cause they anus.

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) Stop saying that.

FRANCO: (As Dave Skylark) Haters gonna hate, and ain't-ers gonna ain't.

ROGEN: (As Aaron Rapaport) That is not an actual thing people say.

MONDELLO: Single entendres definitely intended. If the events surrounding "The Interview's" release have somehow convinced you it's your civic duty to see it, know that you're going to endure a lot of - I was going to say sophomoric humor, but that's really too generous. Call it freshmanic humor - occasionally fresh, mostly just manic. About right for an airport. I'm Bob Mondello. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.