Monday, July 25, 2016

Movie Review: "Pineapple Express" (2008)

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Movie"Pineapple Express"
Director: David Gordon Green
Year: 2008
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes

Process server Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) witnesses a murder while attempting to serve papers to a local drug supplier. After fleeing the scene, Dale drops his joint outside of the drug supplier's house. This joint just so happens to be from a rare kind of pot called Pineapple Express, which only has one dealer in town: Saul Silver (James Franco). Now, Dale and Saul are being pursued by a pair of hit-men looking to take them out after the joint is traced back to Saul.

"Pineapple Express" is directed by David Gordon Green, has a screenplay that is written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and is based on a story by the aforementioned two, along with recent comedy mainstay Judd Apatow. This is an action stoner comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, who play process server Dale Denton and marijuana dealer Saul Silver. Rogen and Franco have have worked together in the past on many projects, including the wonderful, short-lived television show "Freaks and Geeks," and the two have undeniable, fantastic on screen chemistry together. While trying to serve papers to a man named Ted Jones, played by "hey I know that guy but I don't know his name" Gary Cole, Dale witnesses him murder someone in a gross, horrific fashion. Understandably, Dale freaks the F out. While fleeing, he drops the joint he was smoking on the ground and attempts to bail as quickly as possible, speeding away after hitting at least two cars on his way out. Ted also happens to be Saul's drug supplier and recognizes the joint Dale dropped as "Pineapple Express," which is a super rare, highly coveted kind of pot that only Saul sells. Knowing this, Ted puts a hit out on Saul and whoever he is with, who just so happens to be Dale. In order to stay alive, Dale and Saul run about town like chickens with their heads cut off, having no real clue how to actually stay inconspicuous. Their bumbling about leads to a lot of hilarious, memorable moments and confrontations. These interactions happen with the likes of Red, played by Danny McBride, who is also a drug dealer; the parents of Dale's high school-aged girlfriend Angie, played by Amber Heard; a dirty cop named Carol, played by Rosie Perez; and a pair of hit-men named Matheson, played by Craig Robinson, and Budlofsky, played by Kevin Corrigan.

There are a ton of laughs throughout "Pineapple Express." The jokes come frequently and the humor lands much more than it misses. Most of this humor includes the drug-related shenanigans of Dale and Saul as they get high over and over again and try to evade being killed by a bunch of funny, murderous idiots. That being said, "Pineapple Express" is not exactly breaking new ground or highbrow in any way. In fact, most of the time, the humor is much more silly than laugh out loud funny, but it does the job if you let it. We have a hunch it'd be that much more hilarious if you were stoned, too, which is most likely the point. All of this comedy is combined with numerous instances of completely over-the-top, outrageous action, so in this respect, it transcends genres. Seth Rogen does his usual shtick, which works for him most of the time, and James Franco pulls off the oddball stoner with a heart persona very well. Another notable performance includes that of Danny McBride, who we don't always enjoy, but he does a great job as Red in this film. McBride gets a ton of fantastic lines of banter once Saul and Dale show up at his house, and even after being shot halfway through the movie, he's one of those characters who just won't die.

There is a lot of fun to be had during "Pineapple Express," and with a good soundtrack, great acting, and some kick ass action to back it all up, it is a pretty fun, mostly entertaining movie overall.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 68%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "Knocked Up"

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