Sunday, August 10, 2008

Review - Pineapple Express

A crooked cop, a drug kingpin, and witnessing a murder was not what stoner process server Dale Denton had in mind when he stopped to smoke a joint of 'Pineapple Express' before serving Ted Jones. Scared out of his mind, Dale ditches the one of a kind joint, and flees the scene. Dale and his dealer Saul are then forced to go on the run, trying to find someway to save their lives.

Pineapple Express directed by David Gordon Green (Snow Angels) and written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg (Superbad) is a near flawless summer comedy that has tons of laughs and lots of action! James Franco and Seth Rogen both deliver perfect stoners and provide laughs that come fast and by the bucket load throughout. Pineapple Express like a few other Apatow produced films, feels about twenty minutes too long, and has one to many long-winded apologies or monologues from Rogen, but overall really delivers on laughs and content.

The film has been hyped as a stoner film, although it doesn't really feel like any typical stoner comedy. Instead, Pineapple Express reminds me more of 'Midnight Run,' '48hrs,' or 'Beverly Hills Cop' with pot only as the backstory. Sure the film has alot of smoking scenes that are hilarious (where did they come up with the cross joint?), but the meat of the film is far more about the cat & mouse game Dale and Saul play avoiding Ted's henchmen.

The action in the film is done very well. All of it is done in a way that is both intriguing and hysterical at the same time. The scene with Franco driving the cop car with his leg stuck in the windshield is priceless! All of the dialogue delivered throught Pineapple Express is really strong. Especially the stoner moments, they felt very natural, like something we've all heard listening to the enlighted stoner. The action throughout the finale really impressed me as well, it gave the viewer a sneak peek at Rogen's fighting skills (Rogen is currently writting and will star in the long talked of Green Hornet film).

James Franco as Saul felt the most natural in the dealer role and really impressed me. He instead of Rogen carried the film for me, which surprised me considering I usually don't like him. All of Franco's dialogue and facial expressions were a riot and kept me in constant stiches throughout, "Herpies!" Seth Rogen was also very good in the film, but after about his fourth or fifth vocal tirade, I became a tad annoyed with his now very typical routine. (Is it just me, or does Rogen really need to fix those rabbit teeth?) Danny McBride as Red, was the funniest thing in Pineapple Express! I found myself waiting for his screen-time and his dialogue had to be some of the funniest stuff Goldberg and Rogen have written, "Thug-Life!" and "It makes me aerodynamic when I fight." Something about the way McBride delivers his lines, is so damn funny and from the reaction of the crowd, I wasn't the only one who felt that way.

Finally, Pineapple Express is a great comedy that entertains all the way through. Rogen and Franco make a great team and it is good to see them back on-screen together for the first time since, the short runned television show Freaks and Geeks. Danny McBride highlights the film and really steals every scene he is in. All of the jokes are extremely funny and the story does not disappoint either. The film is a little long, but really has a great finish that is particularly impeccable. Ultimately, Pineapple Express is a great "stoner" comedy that should not be missed.