A deftly constructed, consistently engrossing and frequently flat-out-hilarious account of a controversial sporting event with geopolitical implications, Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang arrives just in time to serve as a companion piece to The Interview. Director Colin Offland strikes the perfect balance of bemused spectator and impartial commentator while offering an up-close, behind-thescenes account of the 2014 basketball tournament organized by the indefatigably flamboyant Dennis Rodman in North Korea, during which Rodman and other retired NBA greats were pitted against a dream team of local basketballers as a birthday tribute to dictator Kim Jong-un.

Coming across as engaging eccentric, drunken buffoon and political naif, Rodman braves criticism, censure and even death threats during a series of sorties to Pyongyang. Offland and his crew capture (and shrewdly enhance) several remarkable moments, from the relentless rush through a veritable army of journalists in a Beijing airport to Rodman’s jovial backand-forth with the Marshall. Narrator Matt Cooper demonstrates an impressive ability to turn on a dime from whimsy to seriousness throughout.

Joe Leydon


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