North Korea has promised “merciless” retaliation against the US for the land of the free and the home of the brave’s latest and most classically Western, despicable, and anti-socialist act–the release of a Seth Rogen movie. The Interview, scheduled to come out later this year, stars Seth Rogen and his longtime pal James Franco as American TV personalities who plan to assassinate Kim Jong Un after securing an interview with the dictator. Official North Korean news agency KCNA has called the film an “act of wanton terror” by “gangster moviemakers” and even an “act of war” (could you ask for better advertising?). An unnamed spokesman for the pudgy-faced Kim offered the shrewd analysis that the equally pudgy-faced Rogen’s movie “mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.”
While the North Korean leadership might not know much about foreign affairs, they do know something about movies. Kim Jung Un’s father was an absolute film fanatic, encouraging the growth of North Korea’s state film industry and once even going so far as to kidnap a South Korean director and his actress ex-wife and forcing them to make films for him (the trailer for their Godzilla spinoff Pulgasari is worth a look). Certainly it’s a little tricky to make a comedy about attempting to assassinate a head of state, but at least the movie antics of Seth Rogen and company are confined to the silver screen.