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9/30/13

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS - REVIEW


Nothing beats a good stoner movie.

Pineapple Express sees Seth Rogen and James Franco, a stoner and his easy-going dealer, flee for fear of being tracked-down and eliminated after the former witnesses a murder. Along the way, Rogen attempts to warn his girlfriend (played by Amber Heard) and he and Franco run around like headless chickens until the somewhat epic climax. Think a buddy cop movie crossed with the kind of hijinks that Jay & Silent Bob would find really enjoyable. The film pokes fun at the thriller genre and all the cliches it usually involves while spending most of its time just kind of joking around with its goofy but loveable characters. Rogen clearly has a ball and Franco steals the show in quite possibly the role he was born to play. Forget James Dean or Allen Ginsberg, Saul IS vintage Franco. The Rogen/Franco dynamic really is the heart of this movie and as much as the film takes the piss of their buddy-buddiness, they're still pretty adorable. Whether they're slapsticking around in the woods for no reason or fighting with Danny McBride in a bathroom like animals, they're just ridiculously entertaining. This is partly thanks to a sharp, anarchic, very funny script and, of course, the energy of the spot-on cast who all seem to have one hell of a time. From Ken Jeong's near-silent character to Ed Begley Jr's foul-mouthed father to Rosie Perez and Gary Cole's villains, no matter how small the part: everyone's selling it. This is a screwball comedy with a paper-thin plot and it shouldn't work yet it manages to feel so rich due to 90% of its jokes not only working but being pure gold.

You can tell there was a lot of improv in this movie but where in some films that can make scenes feel needlessly long, here, the material they've kept is so good that you actually want the scenes to last longer! The weakest part of the film is easily its opening where we follow Seth Rogen's character at work, smoking weed in his car or establishing his relationship with Heard's character, a relationship the character and the film itself gives up on about halfway through. As soon as Franco and, by extension, the plot shows up, things finally get fun but everything before that ends up being completely forgettable. You soon forget all that, though, and find yourself watching quite probably the dumbest bunch of people do the dumbest bunch of things since... well, Dumb & Dumber and it is most definitely glorious. Part gross-out humour, part thriller spoof, part charming bromance, part stoners talking shit, Pineapple Express really should be a messy, messy film but instead embraces its cartoonish, self-aware personality and makes the most of it to deliver a really funny, really entertaining and kinda unique little comedy gem that'll be hard to beat for that team. Even This Is The End, as enjoyable as it was, couldn't live up to it.

And that had a coked-up Michael Cera, so...

Overall, of course I recommend Pineapple Express. It's not only one of the best stoner movies out there (the best since The Big Lebowski, arguably?) but it's also one of the best comedies in recent times. Franco's never been funnier, Rogen and everybody else is at their best: it's just tons of fun.

The dopest dope.

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