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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 William Goss

"The Brotherhood of the Traveling Plants"
4 stars

Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Judd Apatow first came together in the company of TV’s short-lived “Freaks and Geeks,” and now it’s guns and ganja a-blazin’ that have reunited their considerable combined comedic merit in the pot-fueled, laugh-filled action romp, 'Pineapple Express'.

Rogen is Dale, a process server who wants nothing to do with anyone that isn’t his barely legal girlfriend (Amber Heard, still hot beneath some serious nappy locks). Franco is Saul, a drug dealer whose clients want nothing to do with him save for the strict exchange of money and merchandise. However, Saul likes Dale above most of his clients, and so he offers to hook him up with the most potent strain of weed on the market, named ‘Pineapple Express’ for the vaguely Hawaiian mixture of wind and soil that plays a part in its cultivation (and, presumably, because ‘Tropic Thunder’ was already taken). When lighting up said pot before dropping off the last of his subpoenas to one Ted Jones (Gary Cole), Dale witnesses Jones and a cop (Rosie Perez) take out an unfortunate Asian gentleman and makes his presence known in a flurry of panic. Because Jones happens to be Saul’s roundabout supplier, he knows on just which doors his lackeys (Apatow alums Kevin Corrigan and Craig Robinson) should start knocking; thusly, Dale grabs Saul, and the two find themselves hitting the road instead of the bong for a change.

Co-written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, it seems fair to actually call this Superbud(s) instead, not just because of the weed, but also due to the somewhat familiar story territory of two irresponsible guys fleeing from the law and towards their own clumsy feelings about one another that the duo explored to similarly hilarious effect last August with Superbad. That film arguably spawned the term ‘bromance’ or ‘bromantic comedy,’ and while I feel it’s a cultural shortcut that’s just about exhausted its usefulness in the vernacular (see: ‘mumblecore,’ ‘torture porn’), it happens to be no less accurate to describe the straight-up dude-tastic feelings that Apatow’s protagonists often feel for each other in this film, that film, or numerous others. Dale and Saul bond and bicker enough that, when a third-act dry-humping session comes about (as a means to escape capture, mind you), it’s difficult to take on surface level alone.

The pick of indie darling David Gordon Green (Snow Angels, All the Real Girls) to helm this genre riff remains a curious one, but his usually lackadaisical direction proves fitting of a movie in which characters themselves seem to be aware but never quite alert. Green offers his own degree of contact high – the characters here are as real as those in any of his other films (Saul wants to be a civil engineer, while Dale is all about talk radio) – but they just happen to find themselves in a rapidly escalating drug war, complete with shoot-outs and car chases, the casualties of which prove just as real as anything else (with one remarkably perseverant exception) once the action-packed climax rolls around. What’s more important is that, as much as it raises stakes, violence goes just as far at providing a punchline. For every non sequitur about the value of being reincarnated as Jude Law, there’s a foot that goes through the windshield of a moving car and gets stuck there. For every awkward dinner with the young girl’s folks (Ed Begley Jr. and Nora Dunn), someone takes a fork to the shoulder and an ashtray to the head.

Rogen repeats the reluctantly responsible smartass routine that served him well in Knocked Up last summer, but if it ain’t broke… Franco, meanwhile, seems to relish the opportunity to prove to the masses that he was once funny before the Spider-Man films, bringing many of the laughs and enough of the heart to keep things on the level. As somewhat one-note villains, Cole, Perez, Corrigan, and Robinson tend to be as intimidating and amusing as intended, if no great deal more, and the appearances of James Remar and Bill Hader in the film’s ‘30s-set prologue are similarly sufficient for their brevity. All that remains is Danny McBride as Red, the middle man to Saul and Jones and a turncoat extraordinaire. Following his near-identical performances as hot-headed fellows in Hot Rod, The Foot Fist Way, The Heartbreak Kid, Drillbit Taylor, and next week’s Tropic Thunder, McBride still gets to play an asshole of sorts here, but so long as his butt isn’t on the line, his Red comes to value the friendship of Dale and Saul as much as they do one another. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that a fair share of his lines prove to be as imminently quotable as anyone else’s.

The whole package is laced with love for ‘70s and ‘80s flicks of similar stature, down to Graeme Revell’s heavily synthesized score and a brand new rollicking Huey Lewis track that certainly deserves than its end-credits placement. The sense that these characters have actually seen, actually know and love the type of stuff that comes to mind while watching it – that moderately post-modern “the new cool of the old school” vibe comes to a head during a conversational coda, and it works for the same two reasons that the entire film does: because these characters are real, and they’re real funny to boot.

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originally posted: 08/07/08 13:00:00
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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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