Plot Dale (Rogen), a slacker who prefers weed to work, witnesses a murder and is traced by the killer, thanks to the rare marijuana his dealer Saul (Franco) sold him - the titular Pineapple Express. So Dale and Saul go on the run with the bad guys in hot pursuit...
If we were to get through a review of Pineapple Express without making some kind of play on drugs and associated paraphernalia, we would have our keyboards confiscated for crimes against easy gags. So, let’s get it out of the way early. Pineapple Express is a high old time. It’s smokin’. Side-spliffing. Weed recommend it. A lot of bong for your buck. Midnight Run meets Last Boy Scout, recast with Cheech and Chong...
So that’s that done - it’s a pun-free zone from now on.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s second co-writing project, Pineapple Express is a perfect companion-piece to Superbad, their first. It walks the same path between buddy comedy and heterosexual man-love rom-com, a blizzard of gags distracting the audience from a frequent lack of focus. Even the dynamic is similar, with a fairly straight-laced loser (in this case, Rogen’s good-hearted but useless process server) trying to temper the hare-brained schemes of his socially maladjusted buddy (James Franco’s bleary drug dealer). Pineapple Express is directed by David Gordon Green, a man who usually makes slow films about people having lots of feelings in ugly houses. If you’ve seen any of his previous works, be it the powerful George Washington, or the more ponderous Malick-lite of Undertow, then he is the last person you’d expect to see making a silly drug comedy about a pair of stoners who go on the run after witnessing a murder. In truth, there’s very little to identify this as a Gordon Green film. There’s the same casual attitude to getting on with the story, and a familiar earthy look, but there the trademarks stop. It’s hardly a bad thing: who wants a comedy to stop while someone has an anguished think and considers the sky?
But Gordon Green is an actors’ director, and that’s what he brings to this party, making Rogen a more rounded character than we usually see from this charming but unlikely leading man. He still does his share of bellowing in that Fozzy-Bear’s-angrier-brother way, but also has quieter moments, and comes off extremely likable - even more so than in Knocked Up.
Franco is the best he’s been. Usually seen scowling in serious films, or scowling and wearing polo necks in Spider-Man movies, here he’s let loose - waaaay loose. His ultra-laidback drug dealer is hilarious, but also as innocent as a puppy. His chief concerns are looking after his granny and securing his next hit. He’s not the sweary, untrustworthy pothead writers usually plump for, inspired instead by Brad Pitt’s Floyd in True Romance. That’s exactly how he plays it - a man to whom the world that exists beyond his sofa is strange and confusing. The chemistry between Rogen and Franco is effortless. Let’s be clear: this film is extremely silly, building action sequences around two characters for whom athleticism is to be avoided at all costs, and casting Rosie Perez (who has forgotten to age in her time out of the spotlight) as a gun-toting villain. Yet the leads make it ring true, or as true as the sight of a 16-stone man in underpants and a blazer, carrying a pyjama-clad hippy out of a burning building can ring. The laughs aren’t particularly sophisticated, but there’s a kind of brilliance in the pickles that Rogen and Goldberg find for their characters. There’s a point near the end where they lose sight of what makes them appealing, morphing them into capable action heroes and detracting from their stumbling appeal, but by then you’ll be so crippled by giggles that it’s difficult to muster the will to object.
Verdict Fans of David Gordon Green, you may well leave feeling confused. Fans of daft laughs and James Franco, you’re in for one of the funniest comedies of the year.
Only if you want to waste 111 mins of your life...
...and I didn't. I think I managed about 90 minutes and then did something I never normally do and left the cinema. I was ready to be entertained or even just mildly amused on a Sunday afternoon and although it's not eye-poppingly dreadful it's just so unfunny and...boring. Very disappointing. ... More
Very dissapointing. After hearing that egotistical numpty Mark Kermode rant about it's crapness on his radio show, I was ready to yet again disagree with him based on Empire's usually informed review. You have let me down Empire. Unless you smoke a lot of weed you will not find it terrbly funny. I also found the levels of violence sitting uneasily with the tone of the movie.
Please don't say that I might actually have to start agreeing with the "good doctor" (ahem.) ... More
This is the "their" worst movie by far, even if you were 10 I don't think you'd laugh at this. Its full of lazy writing, messy sub plots, and girlfriend who is 100% unnecessary to the entire film.
I loved Seth Rogen in 'Knocked Up' but this was very disappointing.
That said, if you're the sort of person who liked 'Hot Fuzz' better than 'Shaun of the Dead', you may well appreciate this film.
Give me 'Knocked Up' (and Shaun of the Dead') any day of the week! ... More
Seth Rogen continues his winning streak with this Cheech and Chong-inspired action/comedy. It's not an entirely coherent film, but a hugely satisfying comedythat offers up plentyof laughs, and some surprisingly visceral violence. Sidekick Franco offers a performance here that is easily the best mainstream stuff he's done and shows an unexpected comedic vigour . He's seemingly more at home in this type of role than any of Spidernan flicks. But this is Rogen's film, and his abrasive, sharp dialogu... More
I've seen both pineaplle express and tropic thunder, and personally i preferred tropic thunder. This was still really funny but it did lind of flop in bits. A lot of funny dialogue and franco is the best thing about this film, but its really the plot that lets it down, probably 3.5/5. ... More
It was very good but something was missing. It just wasn't as funny as Rogen's previous roles. The stars (Rogen and Franco) were fine but overall its very good but not great. Hopefully Tropic Thunder will be better.
I enjoyed it and was surpirsed at how non-stoner the film was. They stop smoking the stuff about half through at which point they suddenly become action heroes. It's an anti-drugs movie disguised as a stoner comedy.
The last scene in the diner was the best moment of the film and so true to life. ... More
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Yes, it's by no means one of the one of the greatest comedies ever written; the pacing isn't good in places and some of the jokes fall flat, but what it lacks in some areas it makes up for in spirited performances, daft set-pieces and some lines that really hit the mark. James Franco was great, one of the best aspects of the film and it all led up to a completely OTT finale that I very much enjoyed.
Good throwaway fun.
greatest of Rogen's films but certainly very funny, especially from a stoner's perspective. Franco puts in the comedy performance of the year so far. good shit. 7/10p;
"This is like if that Blue Oyster shit met that African Kush I had --and they had a baby. And then, meanwhile, that crazy Northern Light stuff I had and the Super Red Espresso Snowflake met and had a baby. And by some miracle, those two babies met, and fucked--this would the shit that they birthed."
"It's almost a s... More
This totally dope (sorry...couldnt help it) film is so funny it nearly had me rolling around on the ground laughing. It's not just the comedy in it that makes it a great movie....it's also the sets and action....must have cost alot to make!.....Franco is BRILLIANT and Rogen is just pee in your pants funny. Go see this film...now! :D ... More
Don't let the naysayers put you off. Just been to see this, stone cold sober and unstoned, and found it hilarious and terrifically entertaining. It plays like an 80s action comedy, but is tongue in cheek and filled with funny dialogue and memorable comic characters. Franco, in particular, is a revelation, but everyone brings their A game here. It's quietly subversive and the near 2 hours flew by. ... More
I loved it, funniest film of this year so far (don't let us down Tropic Thunder) yeah such a fun, ridiculous comedy! The only thing it lacked was a Paul Rudd cameo!
"You just got killed by a Daewoo Lanos, motherfucker"
"Hilarious"? "Crippled by giggles"? Did I watch a different movie? This has a couple of humorous moments, but few and far between, and the run time is at least half an hour too long. I agree the action packed last hour (or whatever, it seemed to go on for ever) was ridiculous because the lead characters suddenly became able gun-toting fighters. Maybe it's a funny film if you take drugs or watch it drunk, or are 15 years old. As a comedy though, it forgets the laughs, and the... More
"Hilarious"? "Crippled by giggles"? Did I watch a different movie? This has a couple of humorous moments, but few and far between, and the run time is at least half an hour too long. I agree the action packed last hour (or whatever, it seemed to go on for ever) was ridiculous because the lead characters suddenly became able gun-toting fighters. Maybe it's a funny film if you take drugs or watch it drunk, or are 15 years old. As a comedy though, it forgets the laughs, and... More
Started off slowly and then got funnier throughtout. Like anchorman was steve carell's big stealer role, & 40 yaer old virgin was seth rogen's, pineapple express is danny Mcbride film plus i never new how funny james franco could be i wish i never seen any of the spiderman films hes that good in this. Seth rogens just a legend and i cant wait to see him in kevin smiths "#000000"]Zack and Miri Make a Porno! ... More
I loved it.
Furthermore, i did some thinking about why the Apatow films are so successful and my defense for them is over at movie musings in the Apatow comedy saviours? forum.
Hope you read it p;
9.2 / 10 ... More