Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back in August I attended a screening of the new Judd Apatow production "The Pineapple Express," which like "Super Bad" was written by the amazingly talented Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg. I went into this knowing the basic plot, Pothead Process Server (Rogen) witnesses a murder while on the job and drops a joint made of a special type of weed, called Pineapple Express, he runs to his dealer (James Franco) and the two go on the run.

So I went in expecting another comedy in the vein of "Knocked Up" and "Super Bad" but to my delight I got something much better.

The movie opens in black & white as two men pull up to a rock in the middle of the desert. The two men lift up the rock to reveal a passage underground which takes them to a secret government testing facility. Here we see a group of scientists with a test subject (Bill Hader) who is smoking a joint and being asked how he feels. After listening to the response one of the two men, a general, makes a call saying they've decided the substance is "ILLEGAL!" and demands the project terminated.

The film then cuts to present day as Dale (Rogen) is driving around in his car, smoking pot, and dressing up in different uniforms to serve court papers on unsuspecting citizens. Dale then goes to see his girlfriend, at her high school, where she is a student. After being convinced to come to her place for dinner to meet her parents the next night, Dale heads to met up with Saul his pot dealer (Franco). After buying some "Pineapple Express" from Saul, the only dealer in town who has it, Dale heads to serve some more papers to Ted Jones (The Wonderful Gary Cole) but as he's sitting there lighting up a police car pulls up behind him and Rosie Perez gets out and runs in Ted's place. As Dale sits there he hears a gunshot and turns in time to see Ted and the cop kill an Asian man. Dale takes off, leaving his half smoked joint in the street. Ted runs into the street where he finds the joint, which he recognizes as Pineapple Express.

Dale returns to Saul's, quickly realizing that his half smoked joint will lead the villains directly to him. Dale and Saul go on the run, first to the the woods, then to Dale's supplier Red, the only man who can give them up to Ted. Unfortunately Ted's goons (played by The Office's Craig Robinson and Super Bad's Kevin Corrigan) have already gotten to Red and a hilarious fight breaks out as Dale realizes they've been betrayed. Dale and Saul find themselves on the run, in a car chase, arrested, kidnapped, and finally in a huge absurdly comedic, explosive finale that ranks up there with "Hot Fuzz".

The movie's got just about everything you could want, Comedy, Action, Blood, guns, explosions, and lots and lots of weed. Rogen and Goldberg deliver an amazing action packed comedy that feels different than anything thats come before it. The acting is great all around with the exception of Amber Heard who plays Rogen's girlfriend. Her introduction falls completely flat and the rest of her part just seemed okay. But there are some great performance by everyone involved, including some great cameos from James Remar and Ed Begley Jr. Rogen and Franco are perfect playing off of each other as they have real chemistry.

Also I must mention one of my favorite scenes, the car chase. I've often wondered why no one just slams on their brakes when they are in a high speed chase, and finally this movie addresses just that very thing.

Overall I loved the movie and with the recent news that Huey Lewis will be writing and recording the theme song I will definitely be seeing it again when it comes out next year.


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