Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pineapple Express. C+

'Pineapple Express' is amusing and largely successful for the most part. But it's plagued by a script that runs out of ideas, making the final third of the film a bloodfest that's mostly an excuse for lack of anything better to put on the screen. The solution: make the film shorter. This is an unnecessary two hour long movie that could have been cut twenty minutes, resulting in a much more even and satisfactory project. As far as stoner comedies goes, this is up there with the best in terms of sheer drug content. The entire movie is high, incredibly over-the-top, and at times very, very funny. Seth Rogan plays a drug addict named Dale, who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run with his dealer, Saul, played with perpetual hilarity by James Franco. The title refers to a special drug of Saul's that Dale drops, giving his pursuers a substantial lead. 'Pineapple Express' is another comedy out of the Judd Apatow factory, which isn't a surprise. But the director of the film is: David Gordon Green. That's a name strongly associated with the Independent film world. He's known for his acclaimed dramas, including 'George Washington,' 'All the Real Girls,' and 'Snow Angels.' So naturally it's an odd choice for him to helm a mainstream buddy stoner comedy. And perhaps Green was the wrong choice here. At times it seems he doesn't quite know what to do with the movie and the climax at the end looked like something a high school film student would have shot. Also, the film is predictable. It's a pretty basic chaser vs. the chased story. It was inevitable that Dale and Saul would end up at Dale's high school girlfriend's house at some point. It was inevitable, based on the violence throughout the movie, that the characters would collide at the end in a massive showdown. Yet there are still some things in this movie that I really loved. I'm really caught in the middle with this one though. I can't quite recommend it, but there really are some golden moments that almost make it worth a view. Also, it might be worth watching just for James Franco's most insane performance of his career.

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