Ride high on the Pineapple Express, the outrageously hysterical blockbuster from Judd Apatow, the director and screenwriter of Knocked Up. A lazy stoner (Seth Rogen) is the sole witness to a murder by an evil drug lord (Gary Cole) and a corrupt cop (Rosie Perez). Marked for death, he runs for his life, dragging his dazed dealer (James Franco) and his supplier (Danny McBride) with him on a hilarious pot-fueled adventure. Directed by David Gordon Green. Screenplay by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg.
The latest bro-mance from team Apatow (the guys who brought us Superbad, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Pineapple Express is the story of Dale Denton (Seth Rogan) and Saul Silver (James Franco), a pothead and his dealer who accidently get caught up in a drug war between two gangs with some corrupt cops, high-school girls and small-time henchmen thrown in for good measure. At its core, Pineapple Express is a stoner comedy–a tale of two semi-slow giggling and loveable idiots in way over their heads–this formula has made for some entertaining comedy over the years, Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke and Dave Chappell’s Half Baked being two of the best examples. What sets Pineapple Express apart from these silly classics however, is the consistency of the humor, the perfect chemistry between Rogan and Franco and the giddily ridiculous action sequences (and the fact that even mild intoxication is not required to enjoy the humor). The movie retains the sweetness that is present in most of Apatow’s films, making the characters poor choices and ultra-violent actions somehow justifiable, or at least relatable. The site gags, pop-culture references and perfectly timed non-sequiturs only enhance the hilarity. Director David Gordon Green, known mostly for the understated and reflective films George Washington and All the Real Girls, seemed like an odd choice for such a raucous and over-the-top comedy, but it turns out Green’s stamp is all over this film (as is his long-time cinematographer, Tim Orr) who together manage to turn Pineapple Express into much more than the sum of its parts. —Kira Canny
Stills from Pineapple Express (click for larger image)