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Overall Rating

Awesome: 18.06%
Worth A Look44.44%
Average: 29.17%
Pretty Bad: 4.17%
Total Crap: 4.17%

7 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Pineapple Express
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by brianorndorf

"David Gordon Green is comedy poison"
3 stars

David Gordon Green is a fine director capable of extracting inconceivable moments of nuanced human behavior out of his motion pictures. He’s best with characters that hold dark secrets near their aching heart, habitually fascinated with the limits of reaction and temperament. I write the above with some confidence, since it’s painfully clear Green has no business directing comedies.

A process server with a formidable appetite for marijuana, Dale Denton (Seth Rogan) loves his job, his high school girlfriend (Amber Heard), and his pot dealer, Saul (James Franco). After picking up some of Saul’s finest product, the infamous Pineapple Express, Dale heads off to his last legal target of the day, arriving only to accidentally witness a mob hit. Fearing the discarded roach will be traced back to his dealer, Dale and Saul hit the road, trying to evade the murderous wrath of a criminal kingpin (Gary Cole), his pocket policewoman (Rosie Perez), and two lackeys ordered to carry out the hits (Kevin Corrigan and Craig Robinson).

“Pineapple Express” is frequently giggle-worthy and occasionally hilarious, but almost by accident. Green (“All the Real Girls,” “Snow Angels”) seems ready for warfare, bringing all his verve and visual ideas to best execute this quasi-80’s action film/stoner comedy. However, the screenplay by Rogan, Evan Goldberg, and Judd Apatow is a deeply entrenched affair, positioned as a net below the actors to catch their frequent improvisational bon mots, and that specific prostration of comedy eludes Green’s sweaty grasp.

Perhaps last year’s triumph “Superbad” proved that the Apatow brand of yuks requires coverage from Apatow-approved talent. Green is an outsider and his direction is a constant reminder of ill rhythm; his editing makes a point to blow surefire sight gags by cutting around the room, knocking down the fine work from Rogan and Franco. Green also doesn’t know when to halt the famed improvisation, allowing scenes to sputter into dust or suffocate from obscure in-jokes between the actors. The whole vibe of “Pineapple” feels askew, as though a more controlled director could’ve nailed down a perfect momentum that builds toward comedic heights. Under Green, the film lurches around, hoping rudimentary pot jokes can cover the gaps in genuine invention left behind by his inexperience with slapstick timing.

If I’ve made “Pineapple” sound like a drag, please forgive me. The film is actually quite a barnstormer, fearlessly exploring the boundaries of comedic violence as Dale and Saul leave a trail of dead bodies and mauled limbs behind them as they dash for safety. The whole production is ruled by the wink, missing a prime chance to unnerve the audience with a “Beverly Hills Cop” brew of big laughs and bigger body trauma, but the taffy air of the film is nice in small doses. Rogan and Franco certainly know how to have some fun, and their camaraderie is an element of the film Green can’t ruin with his lead foot. Adding nostalgic bursts of brutality and synth-powered scoring by Graeme Revell only sweetens the experience.

Opening with a flashback to the war-time day pot was outlawed and climaxing with a Donneresque sock-em conclusion, complete with massive gunfire, Korean hitmen, and Daewoo finishing moves, “Pineapple Express” has just enough gas in the tank to arrive at its final destination with a sufficient level of fogged goodwill, but there’s a strange absence of bellylaughs that typically stands more proudly in an Apatow production. It’s nice and all to rely on stoner kitsch, but this farce needed more thoughtful consideration, not just chaos and repetitive testicle trauma.

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originally posted: 08/09/08 02:59:00
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User Comments

6/30/14 Edler Loved it!! Very original 5 stars
5/28/12 Jeff Wilder Hilarious if a tad overlong. 4 stars
5/02/12 Chimy Changa funniest fuckin movie ever 5 stars
4/13/12 Monday Morning Hey blah blah, stay in your own crappy country then. Good flick! 4 stars
8/27/10 David M That was a great movie, most of you guys are full of crap 5 stars
2/24/10 Peter North Franco was great. Rogen wouldnt shut up. 40 min too long. sucked. 2 stars
8/13/09 Daniel Kelly Enjoyed it alot in the theater, felt a bit flat away from an audience on DVD. 4 stars
5/21/09 MP Bartley 10 minutes too long, but very funny nonetheless. Franco is brilliant. 4 stars
3/03/09 Mark Funniest movie that I've seen all year. 5 stars
2/23/09 jon g couldnt watch it because I kept falling asleep. 1 stars
2/14/09 Tony Ridiculous reaches new levels of absurdity. 3 stars
1/18/09 blah blah typical unfunny american shit 1 stars
1/15/09 DiNuoscio loved the movie!! HILARIOUS..Franco at his best! 5 stars
1/05/09 Matt C. hilarious. franco is the most memorable. 5 stars
12/19/08 Lee wwwaaaaaaaayyyyy too much shouting for no reason, Made me bored 2 stars
11/09/08 Anne Siebenhoven Simply a gift that keeps on givimg 5 stars
8/24/08 Quigley Pretty good despite the vulgarity. Franco and Rogen make a great team. 4 stars
8/20/08 Brian Mckay It's no Harold and Kumar, but plenty of laughs. Sloppy script, though, and ending fizzles. 4 stars
8/17/08 Margeaux Lots of laughs! 4 stars
8/14/08 jessica brilliant1 a masterpiece! had to hold tears back! 4 stars
8/12/08 Sully First half good stoner comedy second half LAME LAME LAME. Save your money, go buy an oz. 2 stars
8/12/08 plstic so funny, yep..what a writer...talented...i hope he keeps them coming 5 stars
8/11/08 George Barksdale Didn't think I would like it but was very good 5 stars
8/10/08 Samantha Pruitt it was trying to be different and did a really good job of it! hilarious and quotable! 5 stars
8/10/08 Susan another stoner movie from apatow, some funny parts but really out there and stretching 3 stars
8/10/08 crltn a sophisticated, up to date, hilarious, right on Chech and it 5 stars
8/09/08 Tom Paul Reeves i agree with zimmerman 1 stars
8/07/08 jcjs33 wonderful fun romp, hilarious, James Franco is great 5 stars
8/06/08 Eloise Carlson It was funny at times, but not what I expected. 3 stars
8/06/08 E K Zimmerman I loved this movie a great deal more than I thought I would, and highly recommend it. 5 stars
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  06-Aug-2008 (R)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2009


  DVD: 06-Jan-2009

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