A process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after he witnesses his dealer's boss murder a competitor while trying to serve papers on... Read allA process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after he witnesses his dealer's boss murder a competitor while trying to serve papers on him.A process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after he witnesses his dealer's boss murder a competitor while trying to serve papers on him.
First off, this is a buddy film. Guys become friends, one guy does something bad to the other guy, they go their separate ways, they get back together, they save the day. This kind of plot is something you see in most other Judd Apatow films (he produced), not to mention most Kevin Smith films. But certainly we're not tuning in for meaningful, deep dialog between two stoners, are we? No, we're here for the gags and the undeniable chemistry between James Franco and Seth Rogen (who co-wrote the movie).
I think it's safe to say that if you've liked previous Apatow movies - The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up - and/or previous Rogen-written movies - Superbad - you'll appreciate Pineapple Express all the more. Seems to me that Apatow is trying to restore a long-lost genre, that of the R-rated drug comedy; aside from the American Pie films, most comedies are generic, lame PG-13 films that don't even nudge the envelope. With Apatow and his extended crew, we don't have to sit through another faceless farce if we don't want to.
Here's the threadbare plot. Dale Denton (Rogen) is a process server who inadvertently witnesses a murder while outside the home of an oily bad guy (played well by Gary Cole). In his haste to get the bejeezus out of there, Dale hits two cars, one of which belongs to a cop in on the murder. And now Dale has bad guys on his tail. He rushes to the closest compadre he has - Saul Silver (Franco), his dope dealer. This is not a movie, you might guess, where you'll hear moralizing about how drugs are bad, mmkay? Watch this enough times and you'll think pot's the greatest thing since Oreos. Anyway, that's how the shenanigans begin, as both Dale and Saul find themselves on the run.
As with most movies, though, this one's probably better appreciated while blitzed out of one's mind. You know how in olden days people would drop acid and then go see 2001: A Space Odyssey? It's sort of like that. Without chemical enhancement, the jokes are hit or miss (but when they hit, they pack a wallop); with it, you'd be giggling through the credits.
But regardless, it's not the jokes themselves that make this a fun movie to watch, it's the appeal that Franco and Rogen bring to the screen, not only individually but also as a frantic comic team. In fact, "frantic" describes the film rather well, as Things Happen to our duo as if shot from a Gatling gun. Rushing from absurd situation to absurder situation is part of what makes something funny, after all, and as long as you don't expect actual logic or adherence to the laws of physics, you'll find this a scream.
Pineapple Express is, in fact, senseless hilarity, the very textbook example of a dumb comedy that defiantly wraps itself in wacky banter and incorrigible characters.
- Feb 24, 2009