Movie Review: Pineapple Express

pineapple express

Pineapple Express
I’ve never been a huge fan of “stoner comedies,” with the exception of Dazed and Confused (which was really more about high school than getting stoned) and to a lesser extent, Harold and Kumar. In other words, movies like Half Baked, How High and even the Cheech and Chong series never really tickled me.
Perhaps it’s because I’m not into drugs. Maybe these films just rely too much on the thought that audiences think just because somebody’s high means they’re funny.
That said, Pineapple Express is definitely about drugs, but where this movie succeeds that the others didn’t is the writing. Sure, these guys are high throughout most of the film, but the actual dialogue is hilarious … not just the way it’s delivered (or dealed).
Then again, maybe I’m just a fan of anything from the Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow genre these days. Knocked Up, 40-year-old Virgin and Superbad have become favorites of mine, and Pineapple Express (while not exactly on the level of Superbad or Knocked Up) fits right in and holds its own.
I won’t bore you with plot details, except to say it’s about Dale Denton (Rogen) and his dealer Saul (scene-stealer James Franco, who makes you completely forget his mediocre performance in the Spider-Man movies) and their attempt to not get murdered after Dale witnesses and murder by a crooked cop (Rosie Perez) and a drug kingpin (Gary Cole … the dad from the Brady movies).
Hilarity ensues, of course, and the movie is at its funniest when Rogen and Franco are given screen time and told to just be funny. Their night in the woods, a visit to Red’s house, breakfast at a diner and the time spent in Saul’s apartment are the best scenes, by far, because they seem ad-libbed and real. And if you’re the kind of guy or gal who loves repeating classic lines from great comedies, you’ll have a tough time trying to choose which one to beat to death.
The plot is the only thing that bogs the movie down. I thought the exploding-shootout-ninja ending was overdone and too much, and the violence is more off-putting than funny at times (although I never thought I’d laugh so much after watching a foot be blown away by a shotgun … but that was a rare laugh at the violence).
Pineapple Express, though, did exactly what I needed it to do … it made me laugh after a tough week of work. It won’t go down as the greatest comedy ever made in the history of the world … but it’s better than I thought it would be.

Grade: 7 (out of 10)

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9 thoughts on “Movie Review: Pineapple Express

  1. Pineapple Express is a mess, but a wonderful one. It’s not the ultimate movie about pot that I was expecting, instead it’s a great ordinary-man action movie.I m watched Pineapple Express Here I’ve recommended it to a lot of people on here and I’ve gotten good reviews You could try to
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  2. I’ve got nothing but one love for this movie. I saw it nine times in the theatres and though I haven’t seen it in weeks, hardly a day passes that I don’t find myself thinking of some scene and starting to smile.
    People say this film is about two lazy stoners but it’s not. It’s about one lazy stoner and one grown-up, and guess who that is. Saul has a home, a business, aspirations and above all responsibilities that he handles all on his own. His apartment is filled with books and collections. He’s a businessman. Remember, as much as he likes Dale, he doesn’t give him the PE, he sells it to him (and boy does he sell it) at full retail yet. And as far as those aspirations go, how many lazy, hapless people do any of us know who want to become civil engineers?
    .Most importantly, why is he the sole supporter of his grandmother? He is a young man. Where are his parents? Perhaps their absence is what explains the sense of bereftness that hovers about him. There’s a hole in Saul’s soul that for whatever reason, only big fat Dale can fill.
    Hell, I’ll say it. This is my favorite movie and I think it’s going to endure for its three timeless messages:
    1. You never know. One moment you’re peacefully passed out on your own couch in your own home and the next, you’re in a hurricane. (Note how that line about hurricane season being over is repeated three times when we first meet Saul.)
    2. There’s no accounting for love. What exactly it is Saul sees in Dale remains somewhat of a mystery. He’s twice the person Dale is. Through all their trials, he never once does what a lesser human being would do, i.e. call Dale out for panicking and dropping his roach at a crime scene. Even after their big fight, where Dale has said such awful things to him, he still gives him half his money. Also, compare and contrast how each of them acts when at last they are caught by Ted’s gang. Dale caves almost immediately but Saul is all mouth and full of fight.
    3. Recognize and value a treasure in your life before it’s too late. We know what it takes Dale almost the entire movie to realize. Saul is a true friend, selfless, crazy brave and caring.
    Rogen is very funny here but James Franco is simply enchanting. He just brings it in a performance that is as delightful to listen to as it is to watch. And as I’ve said to anybody who’ll listen, if he isn’t rocking an armload of film awards next year, there’s no justice.

    Anne Siebenhoven,
    Flushing, NY

    P.S. Two of my many favorite scenes: The one where they’re in the tree and the hitchhiking scene with its hilarious ‘It Happened One Night’ reference.
    10/21/2008

  3. Don’t know why people have been giving it a good review. Your one of the few I have seen to give it a good review. Check it out at gottv.blogspot.com

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