Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pineapple Express

Here comes another one from Judd Apatow and company, I swear, the man must never sleep. For an Apatow film you can always count on articulate losers who get high and waste time by telling numerous dick jokes. Pineapple Express delivers up to those standards.

Directed by indie-God David Gordon Green (Snow Angels, Undertow), Pineapple Express is an action-comedy romp about process server Dale Denton (Seth Rogen, the same in every movie) and his drug dealer Saul Silver (James Franco, simply genius). Saul gets a hold of a new strand of weed, pineapple express, that he lets Dale sample. Before long, Dale has witnessed a murder by Ted Jones (Gary Cole) who also happens to be Saul’s boss. And before long Dale and Saul are being chased by Ted’s goons, all while a drug war between Ted and “the Asians” begins.

Pineapple Express is funny, don’t get me wrong. But quite frankly, I’m tired of movies with the same brand of humor. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Apatow’s earlier summer release, was a refreshing comedy, one that made me laugh out loud. For the most part, Pineapple Express just feels old and drawn out. That being said, there are a few positives to touch on.

James Franco (who based his character on Brad Pitt’s hilariously dumbfounded stoner in True Romance), is a revelation. There have always been rumors to Franco’s comic wit (hinted at briefly in his cameo in Knocked Up), but here, he really gets to flex his funny bone. As Saul, he makes the most out of a familiar story by giving his character amusing quirks. Watch how, when in a rush, Franco runs with little-kid strides, his feet barely getting off the ground. Look at the headband he sports for most of the movie, where did he get that anyway? And in the film’s best scene, watch how he manages to escape from a cop with his foot stuck through the windshield.

The film moves from comedy to a violent action-thriller that isn’t all too thrilling. The final showdown scene is long, contrite and aimless. I understand that that was the point of the filmmakers, an over-the-top parody of action, but it’s just simply too much.

I’ll recommend Pineapples Express for its seldom funny moments, and Franco’s refreshing performance, but not for any other reason. C+


  1. I think C+ is a fair grade. I didn't enjoyed the film to much. Seth Rogen is always the same in every movie but he is better in every film, somehow. Do you think he can pull off a dramatic performance as Steve Wozniak?
    Great directors (David Fincher) can make bad actors (Tyler Perry) act well.

    1. I honestly don't know if he'll be able to pull it off, but I agree that great directors can do wonders with any actors. If Jonah Hill can get nominated for an Oscar (twice), then I'm open to see what Rogen can do.