There’s a reason pot was made illegal, and the protagonists of Pineapple Express prove why: apparently, it’s a leading cause of visits from the mob, explosions and shootouts.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg team up again after last summer’s big hit Superbad to bring a new pothead-centered comedy.
In fact, Pineapple Express plays like a much older Superbad, filled with a whole bunch of drugs and violence. It’s a similarly themed movie about friendship where anything that can go wrong does go wrong. Both have laughs filled with crude humor, profanity and absurdity.
Seth Rogen stars in the film as Dale Denton, a process server who is constantly harassed and screamed at by the people he subpoenas. In order to take some of the tension off, Dale visits Saul (James Franco), a couch potato drug dealer who is always high.
On one of Dale’s routine trips to pick up some marijuana, Saul has a big surprise for him: one of the rarest weed plants, code named “pineapple express.” This becomes a problem, because pineapple express is so rare that when Dale accidentally witnesses drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole) commit a crime, Dale is easily traceable by the bud he leaves on the ground during his hasty getaway.
The problem with the film is that it tries to be too many things at once: a stoner film, a buddy action flick, a crime thriller and a lighthearted comedy. At times it works, but at other times it’s just too much, especially in a random subplot involving a rival Asian mob.
Even though the film may seem like it is trying to do too much, the script does have real heart at moments, especially the last scene of the movie, where Dale, Saul and Red (Danny McBride) recount all of the events. It is funny and filled with joy and talk of getting a three-piece best friends forever necklace to split.
Although there is a lack of females on the screen, besides Rogen’s high school girlfriend, there is a lot of love going around between the male characters. They quarrel and share, they panic and plan, they break up and make up. They aren’t gay, but they are as close as it gets.
It’s particularly interesting to watch Rogen as the hardworking middleman in contrast to Franco’s stoner clown persona. Rogen, in most of the recent Judd Apatow films (40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), has played the irresponsible pothead who only cares about nudity and weed. To see Rogen act responsibly (more so than usual) is weird and makes you wonder where the Rogen we are so used to seeing has gone.
Franco playing a slacker pothead may seem like a new type of role to some, but it isn’t. Some die-hard fans will remember the short-lived Apatow show Freaks and Geeks. On this show, Franco played a high school kid who seemed to have no goals in life and no clue where his life was headed. It shows, in the movie, that he played a character like this before because he gets the role down perfectly, making up for the parts in which the movie gets too overwhelming. Franco’s return to comedy is a welcome one.
Even with all of the action happening around the movie, those random light-hearted moments are worth seeing. They will leave you with big, goofy smiles when you walk out of the theater, proving that you don’t have to be half-baked to enjoy this movie.
Pineapple Express will play in the BLC Theater at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night.