I went to see Pineapple Express on Friday. It was seriously funny. Ridiculous, over-the-top and funny. I’ve never seen James Franco (Spiderman) act like that before. He plays Saul Silver the marijuana dealer. He owned the character, which I’m sure was difficult in such a stoner movie. Yeah, that’s right – it was all about the weed. Exaggerated, to be sure, but what makes it funny is the exaggeration. You can tell it was written by someone with experience, and while I’d bet that someone is actor/writer Seth Rogen (Superbad, Knocked Up), the screenplay was written by Rogen and writer Evan Goldberg (Superbad), and the story itself by Rogen, Goldberg and hit maker producer/writer Judd Apatow (Superbad, Knocked Up, 40-Year-Old Virgin). Sorry to Rogen if that’s offensive in any way, but hey, he’s Canadian like me and it’s not illegal here. The three have a history of comedic hits and the combo is endlessly popular with youth right on up. I went to see Apatow’s latest, Stepbrothers, and saw children (which was not really okay considering the content) up to elderly couples (who sat next to me and would not shut up).
The plot centres around Saul and his client Dale Denton (Rogen). Denton is a process server – he tricks people into admitting their identities in order to serve them with subpoenas. When going to serve Ted Jones (Gary Cole), who turns out to be Saul’s supplier’s supplier, he witnesses Ted murder a man. He throws his joint filled with Pineapple Express weed out the window and speeds over to Saul’s house. Both think they’re okay until they realize that Pineapple Express is so rare that Ted only sold it to one middleman (Red, played by Danny McBride), who in turn only sold it to one dealer (Saul), who only sold it to one client… you guessed it, Dale. The trail is easy enough to track, so the go on the run, but not before Dale exclaims “We need to pack! Get the weed, food, snacks, fruit roll-ups!”
Their attempt at escape is horribly bungled as one might expect. Hitmen are after them, Red is quickly “coerced” into giving them up, their car won’t start, and they have no money and nowhere safe to go. They spend much of their escape time high as hell. Dale manages to alienate his high school girlfriend (Angie, played by Amber Heard) and her family, banishing them to a motel. During an attempt to apologize for his errors after a “near death experience”, Dale sobs tearfully to Angie on a payphone, at which point she tells him she wants to get married. Dale replies, “oh…. I made a mistake.” This is one of my absolute favourite lines of the movie.
The movie is about friendship, weed, the drug trade and hitmen. It really shows the bond between two men, Saul and Dale, forming and becoming stronger, albeit in an extremely weird situation. It mocks the stringent anti-marijuana laws in most of the world. It is a grown-up (though far from mature) version of Superbad, complete with violence and drugs. It does it all with style, great acting and laugh out loud moments.I haven’t seen a movie this funny in ages.
As previously expressed, James Franco does a fantastic job in the role of Saul Silver. He fills out the role really well. His voice, mannerisms, and facial expressions could not have been more perfect. This is not a powerful role, but a truly believable one, situation aside. Saul is definitely removed from traditional reality and demonstrates this through his quirky turns of phrase. Seth Rogen continues on his star streak with Dale Denton. He plays the part well. Dale experiences a range of emotions and does not handle them well at all, which certainly fits the situation.
All in all, this movie was completely worth seeing. It was stupendously funny, a true entertainment movie. The special effects scenes, explosions, and stunts throughout appealed to me, and no doubt would appeal to most. If you’re ready for a laugh, love to light up, or are a fan of Apatow or Rogen, I would more than recommend this movie.