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Pineapple Express (2008)

July 10, 2009

7/10 Epic Blunts

Had pretty big expectations for this movie, mostly because it had the best trailer of 2008. Ended up being a pretty funny movie for the most part, but didn’t mess myself laughing like I was hoping to.

Pineapple Express is about a pothead with a dead-end job and his drug-dealing pothead friend who witness a cop and a drug kingpin murder some guy while smokin’ a doobie. The bad guys end up finding the doobie, which is filled with a rare strain of weed called Pineapple Express that only the drug-dealing pothead sells, and track down our two stoner heroes as they run for their lives.

Not the most effective anti-drug PSA of a movie, but I’m sure this kind of thing has happened to somebody somewhere.

For starters, this is a good idea for a movie – a stoner/action movie. Awesome. Ideally, this should turn out like the beautiful bastard love child of Half-Baked and Die Hard. In some instances it works out, but in actuality, it ends up being like Half-Baked with half the jokes and Die Hard with Steven Seagal instead of Bruce Willis. Probably should have left out all the guns and stuck with being 2008’s stoner comedy of the Summer.

It doesn’t work as an action movie because the action scenes just aren’t good. They’re not fun to watch, the movie is directed by David Gordon Green, a guy who has never done anything close to an action scene in his career, and every time there were shootouts and car chases and whatnot I was just hoping it would fastforward to more jokes about getting/being high.

I feel like it must be kind of hard to make action scenes boring to the point where you don’t want to watch them, but I guess when you’ve got a cast of people who are put in a movie to be funny, you don’t want to see them as action stars, you want to see them as comedians. Know what I mean? The whole tone and pacing if it all just felt really uneven, but nonetheless, it’s does end up being a pretty funny movie.

I’m a big fan of Seth Rogen, I think he’s hilarious and he has been since he got his start on Freaks and Geeks. But to my surprise, he wasn’t all that memorable in this movie. He’s got some funny lines here and there, but he ends up getting totally overshadowed by freakin’ James Franco of all people.

I’m glad James Franco isn’t just “that guy from the Spider-Man movies” any more, because apparently he’s the man now and he is the best part of this movie as Saul Silver, Seth Rogen’s drug-dealing pothead buddy. He plays the role of hardcore stoner convincingly well and it’s worth seeing Pineapple Express if only for his performance.

So hats off to you, Mr. Franco. You have earned your ticket out of the annals of obscurity.

Danny McBride from Eastbound and Down (must see) is also good in it, so there’s that.

Fucking Ken Jeong has a bit role, too. And while he sucks, he’s on-screen for a short enough period that you can more or less forget about it. But seriously, why is this guy in every comedy that’s come out over the last three or four years?

I’m getting off track here. So yeah, Pineapple Express could have been funnier, but it’s not exactly disappointing to the point where I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking to laugh. It’s still one of the funnier movies to come out this past year and who doesn’t like running gags about Jeff Goldblum impressions?

Rhetorical question. Everyone likes Jeff Goldblum impressions.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Audrey permalink
    July 10, 2009 5:29 pm

    Frankly, I can’t think of this movie without thinking of that MIA song from the commercial… and it wasn’t even in the movie. Talk about false advertising.

    • Aiden R permalink*
      July 10, 2009 7:07 pm

      Good point. Biggest damn song of the year and all because of Pineapple Express. Can’t believe I forgot to mention that. Good looks, Audrey.

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