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Pineapple Express

  • 2008-10-29
  • By Monika Hanley

FLOP: Despite having a good cast and a clever writer, "Pineapple Express" fails to deliver.

Director: David Gordon Green

Judging from the movie posters and all the previews, I thought I was in for an exciting, witty treat from director David Gordon Green and producer/writer Judd Apatow (who has already brought you Stepbrothers, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Drillbit Taylor this year). I was wrong.
Oddly, it was one of the most boring movies I have ever seen. Odd because all the elements that make a movie good were there: good actors, explosions, and what could have been witty dialogue, but I kept nodding off so it really didn't stick with me.

The basic outline of the story could also have been interesting, but it just wasn't. Main actors Seth Rogan (Dale) and James Franco (Saul), both young veterans of the comedy scene, play two stoners 's Dale a user and Saul a dealer. The title of the movie, Pineapple Express, for me conjured up images of a train, when in reality it was really just a type of marijuana.
Dale, a court-process clerk, delivers subpoenas in between smoking copious amounts of weed. Fresh out of his supply, he pays a visit to his dealer, Saul, to replenish. Saul introduces him to this new strain of marijuana, Pineapple Express, claiming he's the only man in town to have it, with the exception of the powerful drug supplier that gave it to him.    

Dale drives home that night, lighting up on a street corner and accidentally witnesses a murder committed by Gary Cole from Office Space and a policewoman. Afraid the police woman might come after him next for smoking, he throws his joint out the car window and proceeds to make his get away.
However, in his hasty and frantic attempt, he dents the police woman's car, drawing attention from the murderers. They rush outside only to find a half smoked joint. Unfortunately for Dale, the murderer was the supplier of pineapple express and immediately knew who witnessed the murder.

Dale then flees to Saul's house to let him know of the days events. They then have a series of what I'm sure the writers thought were adventures, living in a forest and fleeing the murderers and the law. There were a few shootings that were meant to be humorous, but as many people died, it just wasn't so funny.
The two are finally kidnapped and taken to the underground lab of the supplier and have a shoot out. There were a few explosions thrown in there for good measure. If memory serves, I think someone also got run over by a car driven through the wall, which given the underground location of the lab, I'm not sure how this was possible.

There was some sort of subplot where Dale was involved with a high-school student that may have been an attempt at romance, but again it was just boring and irrelevant.
To call this film a "stoner movie" would be inaccurate as it doesn't have the same sort of humor or style as most stoner movies. For example most stoner movies don't involve murder and multiple gunfights, but instead focus on food, comfortable clothes and a lot of sitting around not being very alert. There was hardly any of this in the movie.

The only question left on my mind was who was this film supposed to target? Not high schoolers, not college students, not adults, and hopefully not children. It may have been aimed at the early twenties crowd, but sadly that group is rather small and the movie rather boring, so unless you happen to need something really boring to do, I would not recommend seeing this film.

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