Monday, September 1, 2008
Review of Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express **
Directed by David Gordon Green
Starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Gary Cole, and Rosie Perez
Last year, Judd Apatow became the unquestioned lord and ruler of the comedy universe. He solidified his status with Knocked Up and SuperBad. His right hand man became Seth Rogen, who became the new funny man of the 21st century. I am supporter of the Apatow films, for many reasons. One of them are the characters. They may be foul mouthed, but you always root for them no matter what the situation. Then you got the humour. It's risque, but unlike some of the comedies in the comedy world that masks shit jokes for maturity, there are truly adult humour. It has balls. Pineapple Express is one of those typical Apatow comedy, so you expect big laughs. I mean Seth Rogen and Evan Greenberg penned it, and you know how funny SuperBad was right? Well, Express tries to go for the great Apatow formula, but fall short of it. It tries to hard to change the stoner comedy formula, and has mixed results.
Dale Denton (Rogen) is a process server, he LOVES pot. I bet you he is so devoted to the crop, that he believes in Bill Hicks' idea that pot was put on this Earth to speed up human evolution. He dates a high-school student, which is more creepy than funny, and he frequents a pot dealer's adobe. James Franco play said pot dealer, Saul Silver, and he is one of the few positive in the film. Franco delivers a tour de force as the stoned out of the existance Saul. He becomes the stoner. Any who, Saul giver Dale the so-called "Pineapple Express", "the dopest dope ever smoked". Now, it turns out Dale has to deliver a summons for Saul's supplier, Ted Jones (Bill Lumb- uh.. Gary Cole). As Dale gets stoned outside of Jones' house, he sees that Jones kills a rival dealer with a corrupt chick cop (Rosie Perez, would ya know?).
What is supposed to be hilarity, is in fact misplaced humour. There are very violent moments that try to be Pythonesque, but in fact turn out to be quite disturbing. Example: Danny McBride's (in an overrated performance) is in a fight with Seth Rogen. It's supposed to be funny, right? I mean, this is a comedy. And if a fight is in a comedy, it will be funny? No. You feel pain in this scene, not humour. It's comedy that fails to make laughs, but hurts. On the subject of disturbing humour, Danny McBride get shot like a million times, once again with Pythonesque humour. It's not funny, it makes you squirm. The only violent/funny scene is the car chase, with James Franco (notice how the truly funny scenes, involves James Franco) having his foot in the windshield.
The film has it's flaws. You try rooting for the guys but you don't care. You walk out of theater dissapointed. It's a stoner film with misplaced humour, a plot that with an ending that should be funny but it's out of place. There's also the surreal running in-joke about the apparent gayness of this buddy comedy. Oh and the strange 80's style in this film. Just wierd. The only positive is James Franco. It's like he came onto this movie stoned from another, better stoner movie. Oh well, you can't win them all.