On December 17, pretty much every movie theater from that local indie place that sells beer to the giant AMC announced that they would not be showing "The Interview." Then, mere hours later, Sony pulled the plug on the film's release altogether.
It's a shocking and unprecedented event for a major Hollywood movie, but it also comes after weeks of buildup, which finally culminated in a threat of terrorist action on December 16.
"Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made," wrote the hackers who call themselves the Guardians of Peace. "The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001."
And hey, we're not here to condemn theater chains or movie-goers for taking this threat seriously, because how you process fear and danger -- perceived or real -- is your own business. However, having seen the film, we can tell you the "juicy" parts that led to these cyber-terrorists flipping their s—t:
Kim Jong-Un gets blown up.
Obviously, first and foremost is the fact that North Korea's supreme leader (played by "Veep" actor Randall Park) is indeed successfully assassinated by James Franco and Seth Rogen at the end of the movie. The sequence was reportedly toned down in the editing room -- and this is information that came via the hacked emails from Sony, natch -- but it still features Kim being blown up in slo-mo sequence in a helicopter, while Katy Perry's "Firework" plays for comedic effect.
Kim Jong-Un sings Katy Perry.Columbia Pictures
Before Kim dies, the titular interview takes place. During this exchange, Franco's character, Dave Skylark, does his best to humiliate Kim in front of his people, in order to tear down the God-like image they all supposedly have of him. (And to be fair, the movie does show that these people have been manipulated by a master, and some of the North Korean characters actually rebel against him.)
Now, since this is a Franco/Rogen, "boys will be boys" kind of movie, that humiliation involves some girly-man jokes. It's a running gag that Kim is moved by "Firework" -- he loves American pop culture in the movie, just as the real Kim has revealed that he likes Eric Clapton -- so when Skylark starts to sing some of the lyrics during the interview, he cries. (This also ties in to feelings of inferiority and emasculation, stemming from his relationship with his abusive father.)
Kim Jong-un sharts.Columbia Pictures
It's also a running gag that Kim tells his people that he does not pee or poop (or even have a butthole), and this ends with him sharting on live television. Yep.
Kim Jong-un starves his people.
Here's where the absurdity (mostly) ends, and the real critiques of Kim Jong-Un start to seep in. When Skylark and his producer, Rogen's Aaron Rapoport, get to North Korea, Jong-un's people show them beautifully stocked grocery stores (complete with a fat kid out front) to let the Americans know that the rumors about their country starving aren't true.
However, later in the film, Skylark sees that the grocery stores were a façade. It's all peppered with some good humor ("you planted a fake fat kid?!"), but the fake grocery stores and starving people combined with the interview questions about North Korea's very real prison camps probably wouldn't make these hackers very happy.
Kim Jong-un manipulates James Franco.Columbia Pictures
Kim is frequently painted as a master manipulator -- and the same went for his father, Jong-il -- so for much of the movie, Dave Skylark is under his spell. Kim pulls a full-on Dennis Rodman with Skylark; painting a picture-perfect vision of his life (and, by default, North Korea) that includes hot babes, margaritas and even a puppy. This image begins to shatter when the fake grocery stores are revealed, so it's left for the viewer to determine how much of Kim was actually "real."
Kim Jong-Un gets naked.Columbia Pictures
Yeahhh, something tells us the Guardians of Peace weren't psyched on the image of Park's flabby, bare naked body getting ready for his interview. (Next time, don't skip butt day.)