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The Interview (2014) - Plot Summary Poster

(II) (2014)

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Summaries

  • In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show "Skylark Tonight." When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

  • Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show "Skylark Tonight". When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • In the opening scene, a little Korean girl is singing the North Korean national anthem, which features hateful and violent lyrics against the United States. Then in the next shot, a nuclear missile is launched into the sky. News stations around America report on the controversial actions of North Korea, and comment on the leadership of Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).

    Meanwhile, Dave Skylark (James Franco) is the host of an entertainment talk show called "Skylark Tonight" in New York City. He starts his show by interviewing Eminem (appearing as himself). Dave's producer and best friend Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) is in the control room with the crew. Dave asks Em about the offensive lyrics to his songs. Em says most of them stem from personal feelings while very casually letting it slip that he's gay. The crew freaks out and decides to strike while the iron is hot and exploit this. Aaron tells Dave what to ask while he and the crew celebrate Eminem coming out on their show.

    After the episode is done, Dave takes Aaron out at night to a surprise party that they hold for Aaron in celebration of airing 1,000 episodes. There, Aaron meets an old schoolmate named Jake (Anders Holm). Jake criticizes Aaron for selling out and reporting on stupid celebrity stories while Jake is working at "60 Minutes". This bothers Aaron and makes him self-conscious over his work.

    Dave has Rob Lowe as a guest on the show, where the actor reveals that he is bald and is wearing a hairpiece. He removes the hairpiece and shows off an odd-looking bald spot that grosses out the crew. The show is interrupted by more news on North Korea and their supply of nukes. After the taping, Aaron talks to Dave about doing more serious stories. Dave agrees to help Aaron with this.

    Aaron is on the phone with John Kerry's office to book an important figure for a guest, when Dave comes in and shows Aaron the Wikipedia page for Kim Jong-un. Apparently, he is a big fan of "Skylark Tonight". This inspires Dave to try and have Aaron book an interview with the reclusive dictator. Aaron decides to go for it, saying that he can get in touch with an office in Korea that holds the Olympics. One of the crew members then comes in and says there's a video of Matthew McConaughey having sex with a goat ("McConaughey goat fuck!"), which they NEED to get on.

    Aaron gets a phone call from a representative of the D.P.R.K. (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea), inviting him to travel to China to meet with North Koran officials to determine what to do with securing an interview with Kim. Aaron makes the trip to China, hiking all the way to the top of a mountain near the North Korean border. He collapses with exhaustion and is awoken by a helicopter descending. North Korean soldiers step out, followed by a woman named Sook (Diana Bang). She gives him instructions on what to do when meeting Kim. There will be written questions for Dave to ask Kim, scripted by his people. They leave him there with a small bottle of water.

    Returning to New York, Aaron tells Dave and everyone at the studio of his experience. Dave gets excited and brags to everyone on live TV that he has scored an interview with Kim Jong-un. He is subsequently criticized by other TV hosts like Seth Meyers and Bill Maher. Dave thinks they're just jealous, and he later does ecstasy with Aaron. They host a wild and destructive party at their house.

    The next morning, the guys are visited by Agents Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) and Botwin (Reese Alexander) from the CIA. Dave is immediately attracted to Lacey as she tells them the reason for her visit. Since they are going into North Korea, the CIA has decided to use them to assassinate Kim. This is so that a coup d'etat by the North Korean military can happen and the people of North Korea can finally have a suitable leader. Dave immediately accepts, but Aaron pulls him into another room and tells him that Lacey is probably trying to "honeypot" them by exploiting her good looks to rope them into a plot like this.

    Dave and Aaron go to the CIA headquarters where Lacey briefs them on their mission. She warns them that Kim is a master manipulator and that the people have spread rumors like that he doesn't go to the bathroom. The plan is to use a ricin-laced strip to poison Kim when Dave shakes his hand. Dave thinks a better plan would be to blow Kim up on live TV, and then get rescued by Seal Team Six. Lacey comments on how stupid and unsafe this is, and that the ricin strip is simple and more effective. They test it out with Dave, but he accidentally covers his mouth when sneezing. They leave with the strip, which Dave put in a pack of gum instead of the bag that the CIA gave him, because he thinks Kim would get suspicious if he saw Dave with an unflattering bag. The two walk out before a crowd of cameramen to whom Dave brags about meeting him and "giving him something using a hand".

    The two travel to North Korea and are welcomed by a big crowd at the airport near the capital city of Pyongyang. Sook guides them through the city to dispel the rumors of North Korea's famine. They drive by a supermarket and see a chubby boy on the street to convince Dave and Aaron that the people there are not starving. Sook takes them to Kim's palace outside the city in a wooded area and introduces them to Officers Koh (James Yi) and Yu (Paul Bae). Yu looks through Dave's bag and finds the strip. Panicking, he and Aaron say it's gum. Yu chews it and then spits it out. The guys are then escorted to their room and they scan the place for listening devices using a watch from the CIA. They contact Lacey and inform her that they lost the strip.

    That evening, the CIA sends a package with a replacement strip to be air dropped. Aaron is forced to put on dark clothes and sneak out of the hotel to retrieve the package while communicating with Dave and Lacey. While out there, he encounters a tiger. Aaron makes a run for it and the tiger chases him. He is saved when the package lands on the tiger and kills it. Aaron gets the package and then hears from Lacey that they see people arriving toward his location with guns. Dave tells Aaron to hide the package in his butt. Aaron reluctantly does so and is taken back to his room by soldiers. They strip him nude but find nothing. Aaron removes the package from his butt and shows it to Dave. They find that there are two strips in there in case they messed up again.

    Later, Kim shows up to Dave's room and is excited to meet him. He invites Dave to join him on a tour of his land. They hang out in his tank and listen to Katy Perry's "Firework" and drink margaritas, even though Kim was previously ashamed of liking those. He plays basketball with Dave on a private court and talks about how he has been trying hard to carry on his father's and grandfather's legacy. Kim surprises Dave by inviting a bunch of gorgeous Korean women so they can all party together.

    The guys are invited to a state dinner with a performance from three children. Aaron notices Yu looking sweaty and unwell as the ricin is starting to take effect. He motions to Dave, who notices. Yu stands up and vomits blood. Koh tries to calm him down. Yu takes out his gun to kill himself, but he ends up shooting Koh in the head, spraying blood everywhere. Kim cries for them, as does everyone else.

    Afterwords, this incident gives Dave doubts on the mission, and he throws the ricin strip away in a fountain against Aaron's protest.

    Kim goes to Dave's room again to invite him to another dinner. Aaron sticks his hand out with the other strip in his palm to poison Kim himself, but Dave stops him. At this dinner, the once-charming Kim reveals his true aggression and violent nature when he threatens nuclear warfare against every enemy of his in retaliation for the deaths of his two best officers. Dave leaves frightened. On the streets, he walks past the supermarket and finds that it's a fake with a wall painted to look like a grocery store, along with fake fruits on display. His trust for Kim has completely gone.

    Sook visits Aaron in his room as he is trying to get the strip off his hand. They acknowledge their attraction for each other and start to try having sex, but they stop when Sook says she gave Aaron false information regarding potato growth. Dave comes in, forcing Sook to hide under the covers. He tells Aaron of his distrust for Kim and blurts out the assassination plot. Sook gets up and admits her hatred for Kim and plans to manipulate the interview so that they can catch Kim in a moment of weakness so that all his people will stop viewing him as a god.

    The time comes for the interview to take place. Kim and Dave prepare themselves while Aaron and Sook operate the control room. Kim gives Dave a puppy as a gift to remind Dave of his old dog. Both the United States and all of North Korea watch the event. Dave begins by asking Kim the scripted questions as instructed about Kim's life and upbringing. Dave slowly builds up to sensitive topics until he asks Kim why his people are starving. Kim counters this by saying that his people are well-fed and argues that they would have more food were it not for the unfair sanctions held by the United States. As Dave's questions get more intense, a man in the control room attempts to cut the feed, but Aaron fights him off. The man bites off two of Aaron's fingers while Aaron bites off one of his fingers and causes the man to sit on a control stick that gets shoved up his ass. Sook shoots the man in the head before he can kill Aaron. Meanwhile, Dave brings up the margaritas, Kim's father, and then starts singing "Firework" to cause Kim to break down in tears and even "shart" himself. The soldiers and station crew start arguing and can't believe what they're seeing from their leader. In his rage, Kim pulls out a gun and threatens Dave. He shoots Dave in the chest on live TV. Dave falls to the floor as Kim leaves. Dave stands up and reveals he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

    The soldiers storm toward the control room. Sook shoots them all down. She and Aaron reunite with Dave and the puppy. Kim learns that Dave survived and gets angry because he got "honeydicked" by Dave when he was already trying to "honeydick" him. Dave, Aaron, and Sook attempt to escape when they see more soldiers heading toward them. Dave runs back to commandeer Kim's tank and run the soldiers over. Kim gets in his chopper and prepares to launch a nuclear strike. The chopper fires at the three in the tank. Dave aims the tank at the chopper and launches an RPG, obliterating Kim in a fiery blast, and holding off the launch.

    Sook leads Dave and Aaron to a mining tunnel that will take them west to the coast. She and Aaron part with one last passionate kiss. He and Dave make it far enough and are rescued by Seal Team Six. They take the guys home. As they ride across the sea, the two reflect on their adventure.

    Back home, Dave writes a tell-all book on the mission. North Korea is shown to be prospering with democratic elections starting to take place. Aaron also manages to keep in touch with Sook through Skype.

See also

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