Pineapple Express (2008)
Directed by David Gordon Green
Who doesn’t love a good stoner movie? The Hangover barely compares to this 2008 comedy, directed by David Gordon Green (Your Highness, The Sitter) and starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. Honestly, James Franco is a great actor. From his small part in General Hospital to his smaller part in The Green Hornet (on which I have a review) he can knock most roles out of the park. I wasn’t a fan of 127 Hours, but it wasn’t awful. Seth Rogen plays the same character every movie, the weird, awkward, immature man who doesn’t know his creepiness limits (except in Superbad, where he and Bill Hader are the funniest characters).
The plot goes as follows. A secret marijuana factory is producing a blend so strong it makes its victims grow goofy within seconds of inhalation, it’s called pineapple express. The blend was given to one dealer, who gave a small amount to another dealer, who gave a small amount to another dealer (Franco), who gave a small amount to Seth Rogen. Then, in an act of pot redemption, the first dealer to distribute the pineapple express (Ted, played by Gary Cole) shoots a business competitor, billed simply as “the Asians” by Saul, Franco’s character. Dale (Rogen) witnesses the murder, and is spotted by the gunman. Fortunately, Ted does not see his face. Unfortunately, however, Dale ditched his pineapple express on the road, which leads Ted right down the line to Saul. Dale and Saul go on the run, eventually ending up in the marijuana factory where they try to dismantle the “machine” in a scene of bloodshed comedy.
As far as laughs go, this movie provides its fair share. Rogen’s relationship troubles, a side-story in the plot, makes for multiple LOL scenes. Franco’s idiocy, fueled of course by the brain-morphing substance, makes for many others. The only thing that fails to give out any side-splitting laughs is Danny McBride (Eastbound and Down). Nothing about him is funny, besides the fact that he looks stupid and acts like a moron, giving the audience nothing to root for OR necessarily hate, so it’s really a lose/lose.
Pineapple Express, on DVD and Blu-Ray and apparently on the FX channel, is highly recommended, and deserves to be seen.