Monday, September 8, 2008

Pineapple Express

What happens when you take a formulaic Hollywood Plot and exaggerate it. Then throw in a heavy dose of drug use, some homosexual humor, plenty of sexual innuendo and stir it all together. Finally, sprinkle in the guys that brought you Superbad (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Judd Apatow), a guy that won’t die (Danny McBride), a sassy school resource officer (Cleo King) and that Asian guy (Bobby Lee) from MadTV and what do you get? A decent movie with moments of sidesplitting laughter. When I heard that Pineapple Express was created by the makers of Superbad, I decided I had to see it in spite of the fact that it’s a stoner film. Although Pineapple Express fails to reach the comic heights of Superbad, it certainly delivers plenty of laughs strung along a decent but far-fetched plot line. This movie open in a Top Secret underground laboratory located in the middle of a field in Anywhere, USA sometime in 1937. A high ranking General witnesses the effects of Material Nine, which is the government testing label for Marijuana. The test subject delivers a fairly comical monologue displaying the effects of Marijuana. Although campy and improbable, the scene delivers some funny antics as a set up for the film, which takes place in the present day. Our lead character Dale (Seth Rogen) is bothered by the fact that his Marijuana Dealer Saul (James Franco) perceives their relationship to be a friendship. Dale witnesses a murder and ends up turning to his dealer for help. Their relationship plays out in “Buddy Film” formula with plenty of strange twists and turns and shifts in loyalty. In the process of running from the Murder suspect, who is a major drug dealer with Police on the payroll, Dale and Saul manage to create tremendous mayhem, destroy lots of stuff and pretty much eliminate the entire drug organization...all while coming to the realization that they are BFFF...Best Friends Forever...with an added F... The writing in this film was actually pretty good. By taking elements of the traditional Hollywood formulas and blowing them out of proportion, Pineapple Express manages to create a unique comedy that actually keeps you guessing while making you believe a bit in the characters. The characters are not believable in the traditional sense. The buddy film aspect of the show adds a bit of drama, but it is done with enough tongue-in-cheek that you aren’t insulted at the obvious ploys. By taking the various elements of the pothead movie and buddy film genre and adding zany dialogue and situational humor, they succeed in developing a plot that is both original and interesting to watch. The comic elements succeed because of the writing as much as by the vulgarity and foul language...a balancing act of sorts.


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