Pineapple Express

Rating: 3.5 Pulses

Seth Rogan, James Franco

Produced by Judd Apatow

Directed by David Gordon Green

Rated R

It’s been a busy year for the Apatow crew. The motley cast of scruffy leading men/producers/directors/writers have covered everything from heartache to high school, all with their signature crass bravado and relatability, thrilling old school fans and converting a crowd of new ones.

Their latest project, Pineapple Express, is a comedy with a lot of action, or an action flick with a lot of comedy, or a film about male bonding, or a movie about pot. I can’t decide, and on some level I’m pretty sure that the Apatow amigos just wanted to film action sequences and fights. I can’t blame them; it looks like a hell of a lot of fun on screen.

The result, labels aside, is nearly two hours of violence, marijuana and comedy with an abnormal amount of hugging. I always like beat down scenes to have a little heart, and the film doesn’t disappoint.

Mostly, it’s just a seriously fricken funny movie. Choice moments include justice being meted out by a yellow Daewoo Lanos, and almost every line rival drug boss Ken (Ken Jeong) says, for example, “War is upon you! Prepare to suck the c*** of karma!”

Pineapple Express is the next step in the evolution of the stoner flick, because there’s actually a hilarious, viable story there, and, honestly, there’s only a little difference in how Rogan usually acts and how he portrays his incredibly high character in most of the movie. It’s not like watching Sean Connery or George Clooney act stoned. This is a guy who made his name portraying a chunky, Jewish slob, and God love him for it.

I have a little more faith in Franco, playing stringy-haired pot dealer Saul Silver who deals to pay for his Bubbi’s nice retirement home and feels a little lonely. I think Franco has a lot of talent, and doesn’t have to hang his laurels on the Spiderman trilogy. As Silver, he’s hard not to love, despite the fact that he’s a dirty pot dealer.

A well rounded supporting cast features Danny McBride, Gary Cole and Rosie Perez.

One of my largest concerns is how the movie drags on. The initial storyline works, but the fight scene and pointless wrap-up conclusion just don’t want to end. We get it, you guys went in swinging, got shot a bunch of times, and now you’re best effing friends forever. But the bleary eyed people in the crowd seemed to like it, so we’ll call your movie a moderate success, and wait for the next Apatow creation.


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