The government of North Korea today issued an unsurprisingly harsh statement about Seth Rogen's upcoming film, The Interview, denouncing the action-comedy as an "act of war." In the movie, Rogen and James Franco star as two journalists who, after scoring an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, are ordered by the CIA to assassinate him. In a statement published by the state-run KCNA news agency, a foreign ministry spokesman characterized Rogen as a "gangster filmmaker" and called upon the US to block the film, according to a report from the AFP.

"The act of making and screening such a movie that portrays an attack on our top leadership... is a most wanton act of terror and act of war, and is absolutely intolerable," the spokesman said, adding that the US would face a "resolute and merciless response" if it fails to ban the film, which is slated for release later this year.

"it shows the desperation of the US government and American society."

Kim Myong-chol, an unofficial spokesman for the North Korean government, was similarly critical of the film in an interview with the Telegraph last week. "There is a special irony in this story line as it shows the desperation of the US government and American society," Kim said.

"A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine," he added. "And let us not forget who killed [President John F.] Kennedy – Americans. In fact, President [Barack] Obama should be careful in case the US military wants to kill him as well."

The North Korean regime is certainly no stranger to belligerent rhetoric, having warned the US and its allies of "merciless" punishment on multiple occasions. Rogen, meanwhile, seems to have taken the criticism in stride.