Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express is the newest comedy to come out of Judd Apatow’s recent chain of hits in his “Guy Comedy” genre. The movie stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as two stoners who are on the run from a man, played by Gary Cole, who is out to kill them. Franco plays Saul who is a pot dealer and Rogen plays Dale who buys his weed from Saul. On this particular day Saul happens to have a brand of weed called Pineapple Express and he’s the only man in town who has it. Once Dale buys it he goes out to smoke it near a house he has a package to deliver too and upon smoking the joint he witnesses Ted (Cole) and a female cop murder someone. In panic he flings the joint out the window and crashes into two cars on his way out running, unfortunately being seen by Cole and the cop, and double unfortunately leaving behind his DNA on the joint which is filled with the weed that can only be attained from one location. That pretty much sums up the premise of the movie which is pretty much a chase film the whole way through. Think of this film as The Bourne Ultimatum if Jason Bourne had a best friend who was with him all the time and they were “high as a fucking kite” 24/7. That’s what this movie is, and it’s not bad at all.

Having first seen Franco on the incredible series Freaks and Geeks, I can say that I am glad to see him come back to his comedic roles and he does not disappoint with his portrayal of Saul who literally had me nearly on the floor laughing with some of his antics, especially during a certain chase scene in which he sticks his foot through the windshield. Rogen also gives a great performance but I feel that his character really resembles his previous character from Knocked Up a bit too much for my taste, but that’s really just being nit picky. Gary Cole plays his part well and the rest of the cast also give noteworthy performances.

What is so unique about this movie is that it is not only what should be considered as one of the greatest stoner comedies ever, but it is also an action film. You don’t exactly get the greatly shot action scenes of Bourne falling off rooftops or Batman tipping over an eighteen wheeler here, but you get enough gunfire and blood that it can be considered an action film, and while they have all this action going on they still manage to make you laugh. There is one instance in where a character blows off a dead mans toes and you see it, you see the shoe just burs into pieces and fly away, and it is done in such a hilarious way that it is just perfect.

This movie is obviously character driven though and these two reunited actors (still Freaks and Geeks!) work perfectly with each other. Most of their jokes come off so great that it was rare to find a silent moment after the movie had passed the twenty minute mark. However, despite all of that, this movie does have its flaws. To start off there is an opening scene in which Bill Hader is involved that seems pointless and gives flat jokes for the most part and seems too long to have much use. They could have easily gone without it and given Hader a much better cameo. The movie itself also drags on for too long, as Apatow comedies tend to do, and can’t stretch out its comedic value for the entire two hour runtime very well. After a while you’re just sitting there laughing, but wanting the movie to end.

Overall the film is funny as would be expected but it isn’t as hilarious as previous Apatow productions. It is easily the weakest of the films but it like Cars to Pixar, although it is the weakest it doesn’t mean that it is by any means bad. Franco and Rogen work great together and their comedic timing is perfect, but the story at times feels a little annoying and the movie just drags on for about twenty minutes too long. Still I spent more time laughing than not which is what makes a comedy a success in my book and I give this hilariously vulgar movie a well deserved 3.5/5

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