The Movie Buffer

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pineapple Express


No spoilers! Yeah, what!


The duo of Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow strike again with this pot-fueled extravaganza. Pineapple express deserves such fanfare because there is quite a bit that goes on especially for what is essentially a buddy comedy.  

Even though these guys could probably get anything green lit right now, they seem to be focused on putting out some seriously funny material. Many fans were eagerly chomping at the bit to see this movie, myself included, and we were not denied. The plot of the film is pretty straight forward, it’s like Cheech and Chong meets Snakes on a Plane, Dale (Seth Rogen) witnesses a murder and unwittingly drags his dealer/friend Saul (James Franco) into a string of acts of extreme violence and heart-warming male bonding.  

The director of this film, David Gordon Green, hasn’t been in the director’s seat for very long and his other fare has been in the vein of serious drama. But to the contrary of what Harold Zoid says, “You’re un-funny and untalented – that’s why you’re perfect for drama!”, Green is talented and handles comedy with a sleek no-nonsense style.  

Rogen and Franco have great chemistry together and they play the pothead and dealer with ease, despite the characters being pretty stereotypical. Even though some of the jokes are pretty weak, their delivery of the lines and their mostly drugged out performance really shines through.

When the film gets a little deeper into the action parts, there is a bit of gore, gunshot wounds mostly, but it’s mostly for comic effect. 

Given that the other characters are one-liners, the actors play them well (there are a few notable names but the film is really about Rogen and Franco). Ed Begley jr. and Rosie Perez are the next biggest stars of the film and they get a few solid laughs.

The structure of the film is pretty lopsided – the first half is all talk and the second half is nothing but running around, explosions and vehicular man-slaughter. And like I said before the writing does slack-off here and there.  

The last thing that I can praise this movie for is changing my opinion of James Franco. I never really liked him in his other roles. To me he always seemed like a Hayden Christensen-type, sour faced, crybaby actor but now I can see him in a different light.  

Overall the film is good: Good laughs and a good heart with decent acting and some clean directing add volume to a pretty typical movie plot. The deficiencies are mostly negligible but as a whole the front half feels wordy and the back half feels tightly packed. This is not a film for everyone but I would happily recommend it.

Phew, I got through this whole review without resorting to a weed pun! Hooray!


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