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  • Acceptable Targets: North Korea, being an enemy of the United States and the poster child of a dictatorship, is often seen as this for many who support the movie.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The studio (as well as various foreign distributors) felt that Seth Rogen has limited appeal outside the U.S., and that as a result, very few foreign markets would be interested in even screening the movie. Even North Koreans who have defected to South Korea, United States and China have said that the movie exaggerates and gets wrong several things about Kim Jong-Un and the way the country is run.
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  • Ass Pull: Parodied with Dave surviving being shot by Kim due to his wearing a bulletproof vest. The film Lampshades this by having Agent Lacy remark that she has no idea where he got that vest, but that she's glad he has it.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The whole combination of factors (crude comedy, hot-topic politics being made fun of, actors who don't have high appeal outside of the United States, the controversy that most people now think was brain-dead absurd and made people go see the film mostly to find out what the big ruckus was about) resulted in few people seeing the film or enjoying the film. Even people at Sony (on the disclosed mails) were saying "how the hell was this even made?".
  • Broken Base:
    • Pulling the movie from theaters - caving in to terrorist demands, or doing the most sensible course of action after said terrorists actually put their money where their mouths were? It got worse when some theaters attempted to use Team America: World Police (another anti-North Korea satirical film) as a replacement, only for those plans to be killed too, as it's a second studio backing down on a film that the hackers hadn't made threats about. Though this was largely mitigated after Sony decided to give the film a limited theatrical/VOD release.
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    • There's also the argument whether or not this hack was started by North Korea at all. And is the U.S. Government's response to them justified.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: You wouldn't think a movie about killing the North Korean leader would be funny, would you?
  • Genius Bonus: While originally done for the purposes of Rule of Cool and No Kill Like Overkill, the protagonists' using the tank's cannon to shoot down Kim Jong-un's helicopter isn't too far-fetched; US military tank crews are routinely trained to engage hostile helicopters with the tank's main gun as modern attack helicopters are unlikely to be brought down with machine gun fire except at very close range.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • A number of South Koreans really want to see this movie. In fact, some have said that they would go so far as to purchase it in droves, air-drop it into North Korea, and try to convince citizens to come across the border and/or revolt against their government.
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    • If this article is of any indication, a number of North Koreans want to see the movie, too! Of course, the government will not let them for obvious reasons, but it likely won't stop piracy.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The aftermath of the event described immediately above, wherein North Korea starts veering towards Democracy and opening up to the world at large.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • James Franco once made a memorable guest appearance in an episode of 30 Rock, where he entered into a fake relationship with Jenna to dispel unsavory rumors about his love life. The cover story Franco devised? The two met while filming a (non-existent) movie that was subsequently shelved by the studio after being deemed too controversial to release.
    • Agent Lacey deliberately altering her appearance the next time she met the guys, considering that Lizzy Caplan was a Shapeshifting Monster of the Week on Smallville!
    • Kim Jong-un's Toilet Humour gets funnier and somewhat more bearable after Randall Park's This Is Not Happening stand-up in 2016.
  • It Was His Sled: Given the nature of the movie serving as a propaganda piece, it's hardly a surprise that Kim Jong-un is killed. In fact, the moment in question has basically become the film's Signature Scene (see below).
  • Jerkass Woobie: Kim Jong-un in the film is a boorish dictator who oppresses his people and orders murders on a whim. But he's also given an endearing side, and the movie implies that anyone raised in his position of pampering would inevitably become a tyrant like him.
    • Aaron isn't entirely a good person but he's one of the most sensible characters in the movie and doesn't deserve most of what happens to him.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: As mentioned under Germans Love David Hasselhoff, there are various North Koreans that desired to watch this.
  • Moment of Awesome: Kim Jong-un's death. You know what he did in real life (especially that one stunt involving the controlling of the people's lives in North Korea) and it's just satisfying to see him look in terror/disbelief as flames (possibly symbolic of Hell) consume him. Best of all, he died with everyone knowing who he truly was, and the Kim line died with him. Heck, one could compare his death to Frieza's original death.
  • Never Live It Down: Sony temporarily pulling the movie without the advice of President Obama was seen as cowardly and was one of the reasons CEO Amy Pascal was Kicked Upstairs.
  • Nightmare Fuel: While the movie has far from creepy or horrifying imagery, one moment still stands: During a dinner in memorial to Kim's loyal guards, Kim Jong-un begins to slowly build tirade about how he will prove to the world that he is "worthy" of the Kim name, even if it means killing millions of his own people. The fact he says this to his loyal men (including Dave) makes it far more creepy, so much it's where Dave realizes Kim's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Zig-zagged. On one hand, the film got its premiere and its theater run initially cancelled and then severely scaled back to a limited theatrical/VOD release, and the controversy brought considerable damage to Sony Pictures. On the other hand, it's gotten WAY more press than it would have if North Korea hadn't objected so loudly about it, and its release has sparked the interest of many people who had previously not considered seeing it. Ultimately, the film made a fraction of its originally predicted total. Back in November, prior to the Sony hack, BoxOfficeMojo predicted a total domestic gross of about $90 million, and the international success of Rogen's previous film Neighbors indicated strong overseas prospects for the film. The cancellation of wide release crippled the film, and the film's VOD sales, which total around $31 million and are quickly waning, are strong, but have little chance of fully recouping Sony's losses and will certainly not reach $90 million. While the publicity helped The Interview save some face, it ultimately would have been much better off if it had simply been a standard release.
  • Older Than They Think: Some may find the controversy this caused overblown since this is not the first film to mock the life and death of a living and in power head of state. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was made while Saddam Hussein was in office. In the film, Saddam got killed by a wild boar, went to Hell, became Satan's abusive gay boyfriend, is treated as the greater evil compared to the devil and gets killed again by Satan. Some could say, compared to this that, The Interview is rather tame. There's also the previously mentioned Team America: World Police which mocked Kim Jong-un's father, and some could arguably say Kim Jong-il took it better than his son did. As the Smeghead pointed out, both Die Another Day and the Red Dawn remake had the North Koreans as villains as well, yet both were able to get in theatersnote .
  • One-Scene Wonder:
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: What started out as a lowbrow Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy quickly turned into an international crisis debating US-North Korea relations, freedom of speech, terrorism threats, and the limits of real life parody.
  • Signature Scene: The death of Kim Jong-un, of course. It's helped by the fact that it's the only scene in the film that was released outside of trailer footage - at least until the film was actually distributed digitally. In context, it is minor compared to the rest of the film's content.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The truncated premiere cut off the amount of critics that could attend the screenings, but general consensus is that the film is a fairly average comedy that wasn't worth North Korea's time or anger and is more aimed for laughs than for critique.
  • Strawman Has a Point: While Dave's analogy to the public demanding to eat shit may be distasteful, he's basically correct. He's simply catering to an existing market for entertainment news, it's not his fault that market exists.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: As mentioned above, the film is less about calling out North Korea's dictatorship as much as it is just doing the typical buddy comedy schtick in a particularly unusual setting. However, it's clear that the writers and filmmakers were at least a little informed about the country's hardships and its leader's controversial tactics, and some have complained that, had they found away to bring more real-life facts into the film (not to mention make better jokes about them), this could have been an excellent Black Comedy.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The film is less a serious satire of North Korea's policies and more a buddy comedy with an unusual setting. That hasn't stopped North Korea from claiming that it's clearly a taunt by the US threatening to assassinate their leader. The controversy becomes hilarious when the movie eventually does go political, explaining how killing Kim Jong-un would be pointless, unless people's faith in him is broken.

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