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Review of Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express: More Than Just a Stoner Movie

How much you enjoy Pineapple Express may depend more on how charmed you are by the chemistry between James Franco and Seth Rogen and less on how funny you find pot jokes. Don't get me wrong, marijuana jokes abound in this comedy written by Rogen and his frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg, and they are funny. But I was surprised by how much more Pineapple Express falls into the category of buddy movies like Lethal Weapon, rather than the stoner category like Half Baked. I guess I'll put it this way: You don't have to be high to be entertained by this.

I've been feeling fatigued by some of cinema's leading funny men these days who keep pumping out the same old comedies left and right, and Rogen's shtick is definitely pushing it for me. But I was pleasantly surprised to see how well he plays the straight man (no pun intended) to Franco's snuggly drug dealer. They strike a hilariously delightful chemistry together, which I kind of didn't want to end. But there's more going on here besides the two lead actors. To see why I think the director of this movie was a cool choice and which scene-stealer I think earns himself a place in the Apatow kingdom,


The term "Pineapple Express" is what the drug dealers in the movie have named the most powerful pot in all the world (Franco's character thinks this pot is so precious that every time he smokes it he feels like he's killing a unicorn). That's just a funny little side note, though, because how strong the pot is has nothing to do with how much trouble the two main characters get themselves into. Rogen plays Dale Denton, a childish loser in his twenties whose job consists of creatively hunting people down to serve them legal documents, like subpoenas. He's also dating a high-school girl and is threatened by the cooler, younger boys at her school.

Dale's dealer is Saul Silver (Franco), a dim but good-natured guy who spends most days in his pajamas, and cares deeply for his "bubby" (Yiddish for grandmother). He charms Dale into hanging around with him during their transactions, which annoys Dale because he just wants to pick up his marijuana and skidaddle. It's kind of like the pothead's version of making small talk on the sidewalk: a little awkward, forced, not something you look forward to.

After a bonding session, Dale goes to serve some papers, but then happens to witness a murder committed by the drug lord who supplies Saul. This is when the entire movie becomes as funny as it is gruesomely violent, not to mention action packed (I never thought I'd say that about a Judd Apatow production, much less a Seth Rogen movie). People are dismembered, characters you care about are brutally shot, etc. Right when you're dying of laughter because of Franco's facial expression, someone actually gets a bullet in the stomach, or head, or ear and you know, it's a bit of buzz kill. Also, I just have to mention Saul's middleman supplier Red, played by Danny R. McBride because this actor steals every scene he's in, including a fight scene with Rogen and Franco that is one for the books.

Director David Gordon Green is known mostly to film geeks and art house fans for his smaller, poetic films (All the Real Girls, Snow Angels) so it's kind of amazing to see weird little scenes of his scattered throughout the film. These scenes are practically meditative, even though they basically feature just a couple stoners twirling around by a stream. Those strange and funny touches on this movie have endeared it to me. All in all it's a funny — if brutally violent — Summer comedy experience.

Join The Conversation
kluster86 kluster86 8 years
Funniest shit ever!! instant classic, and Bill Hader was tooooo funny in the beginning! love the drum solo
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
I saw it this past Saturday it was funny. The James was such a lovable character! I also loved "Red" He cracked me up!!!!!
RustyAngel73 RustyAngel73 8 years
Saw this one tonight - it was absolutely HILARIOUS! My fave of Seth Rogen's films so far, and the bar was already raised very high from the love I have of the previous films he's been in!! Couldn't stop drooling over Franco, either....even though he looked like a deadbeat stoner. I was actually really pleased with his convincing portrayal of his character, too. He definitely nailed it.
hartsfull hartsfull 8 years
I cant wait! I love Rogen! He is so funny. Franco :drool: I love to see gorgeous guys not play a hearthrob part, especially to be funny.
w4r34gl3g1rl w4r34gl3g1rl 8 years
I saw this movie yesterday, the first day it came out and I freakin' loved it! Now I love my weed but this movie was more than just a slapstick about stoners. GO SEE IT. like now.
DHC1 DHC1 8 years
I saw this movie yesterday and I loved it! I t was really funny.
FoxyJo FoxyJo 8 years
James Franco is SO HOT!!!
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Sounds like a real dude film with the violence... I don't have much of a stomach for that but I've been waiting for this film to come out forever! Just saw Smiley Face w/Anna Faris which, unfortunately, turned out to be one of those stoner movies you've got to be messed up to think is funny. Even then...
RustyAngel73 RustyAngel73 8 years
I can't WAIT to see this's going to be hilarious. Next week for me. Love both the leading boys to death.
Lavinie Lavinie 8 years
omg! i just saw this movie and i have to admit it was one of the funniest ones so far... loved it.. james franco was hilarious as a stoner... these two together was fun to watch.. loved it!
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
I can't wait to see this!!
mariellynelly mariellynelly 8 years
I just came back from seeing it and it was really great. It definitely wasn't what I expected. I didn't think it would be such an 'action' movie, but it was definitely a good change from other Rogen movies. James Franco, hands down, is the best part of this movie. He is so stupid, making him so hilarious. As I've stated somewhere else here, it wasn't the best Rogen/Apatow movie out there, but it's definitely worth checking out.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I think this movie looks pretty funny, but I'm hesitant to go because it seems way too bloody for my taste. But I would love to see hottie James Franco and hilarious Seth Rogen, although Danny McBride seems a bit creepo to me.
em113 em113 8 years
I'm so excited for this movie! I've been waiting for this for months.
kmckay kmckay 8 years
saw this the other night- VERY funny! gotta love rogen&franco combo!!! franco definitely stole the show for me :) i could've done without SO much shot 'em out nonsense but hey- it's cool.
sunny1intucson sunny1intucson 8 years
I'm not really a fan of stoner movies (or - gasp! - Judd Apatow), but I have to admit this looks pretty cute. I am glad that James Franco seems to have found a new niche: comedy!
jasmint jasmint 8 years
I'm really looking forward to this one! I'm a huge fan of Rogen/Franco from back in the days of Freaks and Geeks, and I'm definitely one of those film nerds you mentioned who love David Gordon Green! I think his films have such beautifully crafted moments, so I'm interested in seeing how he takes on a stoner/buddy movie. I'm sure it'll be fantastic!
DMBloyola6 DMBloyola6 8 years
I saw a sneak preview of this last Friday, and it was quite possibly the funniest movie I've ever seen. I'm recommending it to everyone!!
ur_momm ur_momm 8 years
i loved them together in freaks and geeks so i CANT wait!!! :D
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Franco makes me weak in the knees.
sumbum sumbum 8 years
My boyfriend & I can't wait to see that part when Danny McBride cocks his gun and says "thug life!" hahahahha
sumbum sumbum 8 years
I can't wait to see another Rogen-Franco pairing!! Loved them on Freaks & Geeks! Danny McBride is the guy from Hot Rod right? He's gonna be great!
Ms--Anonymous Ms--Anonymous 8 years
I'm choosing to see this over Traveling Pants...the previews are hilarious!!
MeggyPoodles MeggyPoodles 8 years
i can't wait to see this! I first saw the preview in the winter and have been looking forward to it ever since :)
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