Pineapple Express


Directed by: David Gordon Green
Written by:Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny R. McBride,  Kevin Corrigan, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez
Released: August 7, 2008
Grade: A-

Pineapple Express is a fun “buddy comedy” from writers Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.  These are the guys who were helped create Superbad and Knocked Up.  They’ve got a knack for comedy and the popularity of their previous works will ensure that Pineapple Express is another success story.

Rogen takes a feature role in the film – just like he did in Superbad and Knocked Up.  His name is Dale Denton and his job is to deliver subpoenas.  It’s not the most stimulating occupation but Dale doesn’t mind.  He has a car full of disguises and he enjoys sneaking up on unsuspecting people.  Most of all, his job allows him to do what he really loves – smoking weed.  When he first meet Dale, we see him puffing away in his car and promoting that fact on a talk-back radio show.

Dale gets his stash from Saul Silver (Franco), a small-time drug dealer who operates out his home.  I’m not sure how much money Saul makes because he seems to be smoking a large quantity of the product himself.  There’s a scene early in the film where the two get “high” together and it makes for a very amusing conversation.

Their two separate worlds come crashing together when Dale goes to serve a subpoena on a man named Ted Jones (Cole).  Waiting outside his house, Dale looks through the window and sees Ted kill an Asian guy with the help of a female police officer.  Dale freaks out.  In a state of panic, he flees the scene and heads to Saul’s place.  His actions did not go unnoticed.  It turns out that Ted Jones is a very powerful drug lord and he wants to make sure that Dale doesn’t get a chance to tell anyone about what he saw.

What follows is a crazy series of events where Dale and Saul try to evade Ted’s hired goons.  They continue to smoke throughout the whole ordeal which makes it rather amusing.  Helping balance the film’s silliness are some touching moments where Dale and Saul realise the significance of their friendship.  It was reminiscent of some of the themes touched on in Superbad.  There are also a few plot twists which spoof the action genre in a vein similar to Austin Powers

Seth Rogen and James Franco are terrific.  Franco is particularly good in a challenging role.  He has to play a drugged-up bum with little comprehension of the world around him.  On top of that, he has to make his character comical.  Also worthy of mention is Gary Cole (Office Space) who plays Ted Jones.  Cole is a master at player supporting characters and is one of the most underappreciated actors in the business.

The bottom line is that Pineapple Express is smart and funny.  You’ll enjoy it whether you’re taking drugs or not.