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After witnessing a murder, Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) turns to his drug dealer Saul (James Franco) for help. At the time of the murder Dale was enjoying a hit of Saul’s latest and rarest product, Pineapple Express, but Dale ditched the stuff at the scene. Unfortunately for him, the murderer, Ted (Gary Cole) is the one who supplied Saul with the stuff and so a chase begins.
I’m no fan of drugs, I’m not an advocator and I find very little humour in the subject matter. I would not be the guy you’d come to for a review on a movie like this. However I am a huge fan of James Franco and Seth Rogen and as such I was able to stomach Pineapple Express (the movie). Because of my stance a lot of the humour most likely passed me by however the chemistry between the leads is so great I still was able to enjoy the experience.
I’ve been waiting for Rogen and Franco to work together again since ‘Freaks & Geeks‘ and they don’t disappoint here. Bringing the man-love you’d see in Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg’s first movie ‘Superbad‘, back to the big screen. The character you’d have seen before in other Rogen roles but there is something distinctly likeable about this process clerk loser. Franco seems to have taken a complete turn from his usual serious, angry characters to play the stoner Saul whose only concerns are his grandmother and his merchandise. He bases his character on Brad Pitt’s Floyd from ‘True Romance‘ and you can certainly see the likenesses.
The movie turns from on the run comedy to action movie for the final act. Whilst there are still laughs, the final showdown sees gun fights, explosions and fight sequences you wouldn’t usually expect from a “comedy” movie. (However this is something seen in ‘Tropic Thunder‘ so perhaps this is where comedy is evolving to?) Supporting roles are played well from Gary Cole, Danny R. McBride and Rosie Perez who makes a nice return after not seeing her in anything for ages.
Whilst not being my particular genre of movie, being written by someone I admire and performed so brilliantly by actors I like means that I did enjoy this movie. The high speed chase when Saul steals the police vehicle being a particular highlight. People have told me that “stoner comedies” are meant to be enjoyed whilst stoned. I don’t agree, this was entertaining and gruesome in parts which made me cringe. I feel the combination of writing, acting and directing were able to make this a film even the hard nosed drug hater could enjoy.