There will be bud

There will be bud

The Pineapple Express, Wikipedia informs us, is “a meteorological phenomenon which is characterized by a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and associated heavy rainfall from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands.”

It is also, the movie Pineapple Express informs us, a rare and special and presumably fictitious strain of marijuana—said to smell, when freshly harvested, like “God’s vagina.”


Up in smoke? Lovably tubby Seth Rogen saves his dealer in the pot-powered action flick, Pineapple Express.

Now, had this week’s handout from the Judd Apatow comedy empire been about a meteorological phenomenon, it still probably would have found a way to entertain. But it is, of course, about the weed. Expect copious giggles.

The plot is this: A stoner (why, Seth Rogen, of course) and his dealer (James Franco) run afoul of crooked cops and dueling drug lords, then run for their lives. They also stop periodically to banter and get baked and become closer friends.

Saul (Franco), the only guy in town dealing Pineapple Express, doesn’t need a real job (perhaps that’s for the best, as he probably couldn’t manage one anyway), but Dale (Rogen) works as a process server; one night, while waiting to deliver a subpoena, or maybe just stalling so he can blaze a little in his car, Dale witnesses a murder. The killers are a crooked cop (Rosie Perez) and the drug kingpin (Gary Cole) who just happens to be Saul’s supplier—and happens to witness Dale watching him. In his hasty escape, Dale leaves a little of the Pineapple behind—just enough, in fact, for the killers to track him and Saul down and come gunning for them.

Director David Gordon Green’s previous film, Snow Angels, was pretty much the opposite of an action-comedy buddy movie, so in a way Pineapple Express seems like a real achievement.

Well, O.K., achievement isn’t the right word. Certainly not in this context. But with Green raising the bar of stylishly composed slapstick, this must be the first movie in its genre with a sheen of real art-house cred. The script, by Rogen and fellow Superbad writer Evan Goldberg, from a story by them and producer Apatow, wanders and digresses and gets a little sloppy at times. But to complain about that is to need to relax.

It’s a movie for boys, mostly and not surprisingly, but it is commendably sensitive to the nuances of male bonding—particularly the infantile, lightly misogynistic and glibly violent nuances. True, in more excited scenes, Rogen risks upstaging his own affable deadpan with too much ham, but his chemistry with Franco—first cultivated years ago in the short-lived, Apatow-produced TV series “Freaks and Geeks”—goes a long way. And Danny R. McBride, as a (barely) higher-up on the weed chain, steals each of his increasingly ridiculous scenes.

As befits its core creative team, Pineapple Express is sweet and seemingly dumb, but at least smart enough to know how appealing that is. Maybe not a full meteorological phenomenon, but, in its mild way, palpably a force of nature.

Posted In:     Arts

Previous Post

A Swing, and a miss

Next Post

Talkin’ ’bout the next generation



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of