Pineapple Express review
I'm pretty open about the fact that I don't usually enjoy vulgar comedies. I really disliked 40 Year Old Virgin and thought Superbad was "ok" at best. After seeing the previews for Pineapple Express, I thought it looked incredibly funny and decided to give it a chance despite it being a stoner comedy. For some reason I find drug humor to be pretty funny even though I've never taken them or agreed with drug use in general. I guess I just don't take drug use in films seriously. So I went to see the movie this afternoon not really knowing what to expect but determined to at least have a few laughs.
Pineapple Express ended up being exactly what I expected. The first act of the film sets up the story and introduces the two main characters (Seth Rogen as a stoner and James Franco as his drug dealer). Seth Rogen's character witnesses a murder while sitting in his car getting high and things quickly get out of hand as he and James Franco get caught up in a drug war. There probably isn't any point in revealing any more since the story is just a simple diversion to set up laughs.
With the second act, the film delivers non-stop sight gags and hilarity. It's around this time that I realized this movie can't be taken seriously whatsoever. To do so would defeat the entire purpose of watching it. Things happen that are in no way possible in real life and it almost feels like you're watching a modern day take on a Charlie Chaplin movie. This idea really hit home with the final act of the film where things change pace completely with a violent action packed gun battle. With this change in tone I finally started to find myself in a state of disbelief.
Pineapple Express kinda reminds me of Edgar Wright's cop parody Hot Fuzz, which went from being a murder mystery to an all out Die Hard-esque action flick. With that film the first half was slightly more difficult to enjoy, but then it turned into a joyride. Here it is the exact opposite, with the first two-thirds being a laugh-out-loud comedy fest and the final part being a little too much of a change of pace. Still, I think Pineapple Express is the funniest of all the Judd Apatow comedies and it delivered everything that I expected. Just don't expect it to teach you any life lessons.
My score: ****