Genre: Comedy, Crime
by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Rosie Perez, Amber Heard, Gary Cole, Ed Begley, Jr., Nora Dunn, Kevin Corrigan, Craig Robinson
Released by: Columbia Pictures
Short: Stoner cinema meets action-adventure thriller in this goofball flick, resulting in a moviegoing high you won't soon forget.
Ride a Laugh-Filled High on the Pineapple Express
Who knew that when Seth Rogen and James Franco became buddies on the much-loved but short-lived 1999 television show Freaks and Geeks, they would end up making a comedy classic together almost ten years later? Well, it was probably the show's executive producer and lead writer Judd Apatow, who since has become the Pied Piper of modern comedy. Because when Judd's name is attached, the audiences show up.
Apatow is responsible for a string of hit film comedies including Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights, Knocked Up, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and now the hilarious Pineapple Express. Apatow produced, Rogen co-wrote, and Rogen and Franco star as two stupid potheads (one the buyer, the other the seller) who get in big, big trouble together.
The plot of Pineapple Express is a complicated mix of dope dealing, wanton murder, crooked cops, and male bonding, with a little bit of romance, family love, and some silly costumes thrown in, too. Rogen's character Dale Denton is a process server whose 18-year-old high school co-ed (Amber Heard) girlfriend is ready to take their relationship to the next level; so it's no wonder that he wants to get stoned and forget all about meeting her parents.
But that desire goes badly awry when Denton witnesses a brutal murder, just hours after he has purchased and smoked some of the legendary Pineapple Express pot from Saul Silver (James Franco, who gives a truly inspired and unexpectedly hilarious performance), his drug dealer. High as a kite, Denton leaves behind a trail that leads the killers right to Silver's door, and some serious hilarity ensues as the two unlikely buddies go on the run, all the while smoking more and getting less and less intelligent as they plot their escape from the bad guys.
Pineapple Express is the sort of brilliant comedy that can end up anticlimactic if you've seen too many previews or heard about too many of the jokes before you are actually watching the film unspool, so take our advice and head out to see it as soon as possible, before all the funny parts become common knowledge. It's a side-splittingly funny romp, even if you would never think of inhaling anything illegal on your own.
Reviewed by Jenny Peters