Pineapple Express

2009-12-15 13:59
Pineapple Express
What it’s about:

Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a professional stoner and a process server by day. He visits his dealer Saul (James Franco) and scores a special blend of marijuana called Pineapple Express. Later, while smoking a joint in his car to take the edge off before dinner with his girlfriend’s parents, he witnesses a cop commit a murder. In his frantic and high state, Dale drops his 'roach' (joint) and speeds off. Through a series of connections, the roach is traced back to Saul and he and Dale find themselves on the run.

What we thought of it:

To call it a stoner action movie would be a bit of an oxymoron, as stoners are generally quite sedentary. Pineapple Express pulls off high octane action, ridiculous yet smart comedy and unexpected storylines all at the same time. It’s anything but sedentary.

For once here’s a stoner flick that’s not just slapstick fodder for a serious case of the laggies. The OTT action merely provides a backdrop for the real comedy; the dialogue and interaction between the characters. Dale’s discomfort with Saul’s obvious attempts at striking up a friendship is so tangible, you’ll be wriggling in your seat. Writers Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen have successfully stayed true to their style, but this is way above the mediocre Knocked Up and SuperBad.

Seth Rogen is Seth Rogen. His genuine awkwardness is what makes him funny. And it works. James Franco is a chameleon. With long hair, bloodshot eyes and a goofy grin, it’s hard to recall that he was once the dashing Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies. He’s perfectly suited to his character and shows he has some comedic chops, despite having featured mostly in dramas like Flyboys and City by the Sea. Gary Cole draws inspiration from the sleazy character he played in Office Space to portray the slightly dim-witted drug kingpin Ted Jones, while Danny R. McBride turns the middleman Red into a hilarious and unique comedic character that’ll probably feature in future Apatow/Rogen movies.

Pineapple Express plays out like a cheesy 70s TV show, somewhere between Starsky and Hutch and Cheech and Chong. A good cast has turned this average premise into a really funny movie that blows smoke in the face of amateurs like Harold and Kumar.

- Sam Brighton

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A stoner witnesses a cop commit a murder and ends up on the run with his dealer in this OMG slapstick comedy.

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