Ken's Review: Pineapple Express - The Best Stoner Comedy... Ever?
by Ken Evans
August 6, 2008
Ever wonder what you would get if you took an 80's buddy cop movie and replaced the cops with stoners, then took Half Baked and made it clever instead of cheesy, and mixed the two together? What you would get is pretty close to what Pineapple Express turned out to be. I don't know if that sounds good or not, but I loved it. I was already excited for it, but didn't expect it to be near as action-packed or as smart as it was.
Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a 25-year-old process server who loves smoking weed. His typical day is made up of smoking, handing out subpoenas and hanging out with his 18-year-old high school girlfriend. Dale visits his drug dealer Saul Silver (James Franco) and ends up purchasing an extremely rare batch of weed called "Pineapple Express." Dale then goes to hand out another subpoena and ends up witnessing a murder, but leaves his joint at the scene. The murderer traces it back to Dale and Saul and sends his thugs to kill them and cover the whole thing up. And that's where our little tale begins!
This isn't just another goofy stoner movie. What really sets it apart is that while weed is the catalyst for the trouble they find themselves in, it isn't the major focus of the film. That said, there is still a lot of smoking and we get to see them act ridiculous and hear them say stupid things. Writers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Judd Apatow were able to make this such an enjoyable movie not because it's just a stoner comedy, but because they succeed in mixing that style of comedy with lots of action and an actual plot. It might not be the deepest plot, but it is still more of one than just about any other stoner comedy I've ever seen.
I have to make a bit of an apology to James Franco after seeing Pineapple Express. Continually I have bad mouthed him in reviews and to friends. Next to Hayden Christensen and Channing Tatum, there aren't many actors that I dislike as much as James Franco. Admittedly I haven't seen everything he is in, including "Freaks and Geeks", but what I have seen of him I've hated. Now this isn't a full apology because he still must answer for his performances in Flyboys, Tristan & Isolde, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. I must say though that I absolutely loved him in Pineapple Express and thought he was an amazing stoner. I laughed so much I was crying with every facial expression and speech that came out of his mouth. Finally, the role that he was born to play!
Seth Rogen is turning out to be a favorite of mine. The first time I really noticed him was in The 40 Year Old Virgin and I haven't been able to get enough of him since. He just comes across so likeable and down-to-earth as one of the few actors in Hollywood who seems like someone you could hang out with and talk to about anything. He's extremely funny as the not-burned-out-stoner and has proven now with this and Knocked Up that he can take on the role of lead actor without a problem.
I haven't seen Tropic Thunder just yet, but if it came down to Pineapple Express and Step Brothers, I would have to pick Pineapple Express. It is just a truly enjoyable film that I smiled and laughed the full way through. Perfecting the combination of stoner comedy with a credible action plot is amazing to see. Step Brothers, while funny, just didn't break any new ground. I'll definitely be going to see this again soon!
Reader Feedback - 25 Comments
saw it tonight got to agree it was amazing haven't had that much fun at the movies in a long time
alex on Aug 6, 2008
im seeing it tonight, it seems that i am in for a very memorable experience. Nice write up.
big r on Aug 6, 2008
You really should check out Freeks and Geeks. It's one of the best short-lived shows ever made. Both Seth Rogen and James Franco star (as you probably already know) and they're great! And so does Jason Segel and Martin Starr just to name a few chill people. I've been looking forward for this movie for a very long time now and it's gonna be sweet when it comes up in theathers in sweden.
Markus on Aug 6, 2008
One of the funniest movies i've seen in a long time. I had tears from laughing so hard. Great right up, I mean it really was just that a stoner movie that was action packed and smart.
corina on Aug 6, 2008
that can't be the best stoner comedy. the best is half baked.
Darrin on Aug 6, 2008
i really wanna see this film, but rotten tomatoes has not been very kind with it and while a alot of ppl say its good, they never say that its as good as superbad o0r even knocked up, which is what i wanna hear. this movie better not be a waste of my time
LeeMan on Aug 6, 2008
I thought James Franco was great in all the Spiderman films......:(
Rob on Aug 6, 2008
It was good, agree with the 8/10, but I liked Superbad alot more. The structure of the movie is so similar to Superbad it could have been named "Superbad with Guns," as Judd and Seth jokingly stated at Comic-Con.
Keith on Aug 6, 2008
when is the arrested development movie coming out?
brettfavre on Aug 6, 2008
The only reason I would watch this movie is to see James Franco shirtless, and since that's probably not going to be in the film, i'll probably skip it.
Brandin Howarth on Aug 6, 2008
Went to the midnight showing, and from what I remember it was hilarious. Will definitely be watching it again this weekend.
Mike on Aug 6, 2008
it is very good. I thought it was going to be good, but kinda stupid, but it wasn't! it was really amazing now i cant wait for college and tropic thunder
sean on Aug 6, 2008
I hated both Superbad and Knocked Up, but I like the stoner genre, so I'll give this a go.
avoidz on Aug 6, 2008
Haven't seen it yet, but Half Baked is better.
Daniel on Aug 6, 2008
I think this is WAY better than SUPERBAD for me atleast. Saw this a couple weeks ago and now I bunch of people I know are psyched.
Ryan on Aug 6, 2008
Just saw it this afternoon and i loved it James Franco and Seth Rogen make a kick ass combo and one of the best comedies this year.
Curtis on Aug 6, 2008
Way Overrated. Half Baked was way better. Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle was better.
neal on Aug 7, 2008
My favorite, favorite, favorite part was the opening. omg. I cannot wait until that's on youtube and I get to watch it on repeat. ::Blip Boop Bop Beep::
open on Aug 7, 2008
Its wasn't that great of a movie. I would not call it the best stoner movie. Probably one of the better ones , not the best. It was funny and the story was entertaining but there wasn't enough smoking. Lol, the High School girlfriend thing was hilarious. Alot of it was funny. The asian gang though, there wasn't much substance in that. BOBBY LEE! he didn't do a damn thing... Wtf.
Great on Aug 7, 2008
I'm sure this movie would have been a very memorable experience, if i was not high as fuck.
Calvin on Aug 7, 2008
Pineapple Express was incredible. Most consistently entertaining/hilarious movie I've seen in a long time. Just about everything was perfect. In addition to being a "stoner" movie, it succeeds as a action parody movie -- even more than Hot Fuzz did last year.
CajoleJuice on Aug 8, 2008
This is the best movie period. Real action, real acting, and just keepin it real. The beginning alone made me see it ten times because I had to go to the hospital each time but the tenth.FROM LAUGHING SO FUCKING HARD. An absolute must see I would fight to the death to defend the honour of this film, and intend to. Wrapping things up I really think this is THE movie everyone could get high too for their first time. God Bless This Film and May He Grant It Immortality So I Can See It Every Friday. EVERY Friday. Im considering getting a fourth job and start sucking dick so I can send the proceeds to Judd Apatow and company. Fuck everyone who says this isnt the best stoner comedy ever. Just go ahead and keep smoking meth but please keep your shit for brains, muffin fucking, car driving stupid ass opinions to your self. This movie is the bees knees number nine...... motherfuckers.
Saul Silver on Aug 11, 2008
Danny McBride was great, his character Red was one of the funniest characters in Stoner history, Seth Rogan was great, Dale a Process Server got to love that, and James Franco is great no matter what, Saul was just a spaced out individual. Half Baked was nothing compared to this, because there was no flying like the scene in H.B. Go see it if you do not laugh then you have no sense of humor.
Xerxex on Aug 13, 2008
I was able to catch a showing of this last night. I can now say that I have seen one of the funniest movies to come out in the past few years. That movie, though, is Tropic Thunder, which I saw immediately after this one. 😛 The Express was very funny, but it doesn't warrant multiple viewings like a great comedy, or any film in general, should. I should probably admit to being biased against weed though. I work on a PC support helpdesk taking calls all day long from some of the dumbest mf's on the face of the earth. So I can't in good conscience support any activity that might make people EVEN DUMBER, even if only temporarily. heh Performances were good all around. This was the least annoying I've seen Rosie Perez in a long time, and Danny McBride dialed it down a couple of notches and was still hilarious. The whole thing with Seth Rogen dating a high schooler was funny, as were her parents. Still, the giant action battle seemed to go on too long and the last 5 minutes or so of the film were unneeded entirely. And I can't help but feel they should have gotten more out of the Asian gang.
kevjohn on Aug 14, 2008
This has to be the best stoner movie ever. It is better than all the other movies Seth Rogen and those guys have been in, and its better than all the other stoner movies. Franco was good in the Spiderman movies but he was amazing in this one! There could be a generational gap with the opinions about the best stoner movie. Im 17 and this is the best one by far. I could watch it everyday and every time.
Crossfire on Oct 7, 2008
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