And then came the Sony hacks.
And out of the hacking scandal emerged the threats from anonymous sources against the movie.
And the bullshit that followed was vaguely reminiscent of the Hollywood blacklists of the McCarthy era. The entertainment industry was crashing in on itself like a house of cards all in a tiredly transparent effort to protect their bottom lines.
And then came the president's rebuke.
And then came Sony's feeble attempt to feign concern about collective safety.
And then....finally....predictably....came the inevitable release, albeit on limited screens and on a much cheaper digital platform.
I will not give credence to the conspiracy theorists that suggest that Sony used the legitimate horror of the hacking scandal as a way to brilliantly advertise a pathetically weak and asinine film that was destined to flop. (Although, ironically that is what has occurred.) That nonsense would require complicity from both the White House and the FBI, and somehow I cannot imagine that either of those bodies would ever cooperate for the sole purpose of publicizing a mediocre film. I will say, however that the idea that somebody, anybody was telling me that I couldn't see this movie was like catnip. Artists have always been at the forefront of free speech causes, and I felt an almost pathological need to support Rogen and Franco by viewing their film.
So that's the backstory of why The Husband and I decided to download and watch The Interview on this Christmas Day.
It's a piece of derivative crap. Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd played on this premise much better and for much bigger laughs in Spies Like Us. Franco is as bad as I have ever seen him and Rogen desperately tries to elevate the sophomoric humour with a modicum of talent. It is everything that I expected it to be and worse.
But I sat through it....all of it... mostly because I felt the need to defend even the crappiest of films as an art form. I only wish that Rogen and Franco had heeded the wise words of Soren Kierkegaard.
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.The Interview is a sad platform on which to defend art and speech, but I honestly didn't expect anything better.