Pineapple Express

Dale Denton (Seth Rogen, right) and Saul Silver (James Franco, left) are two lazy stoners running for their lives in Columbia Pictures' action-comedy Pineapple Express. (C) 2008 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Today, I managed to turn my attention to one of those movies I bought on DVD because they had some promise (based on what I’ve read and heard about it in advance), but never had a proper chance to actually watch it. According to a colleague of mine, I just had to see this one, and now was the time to do just that.

Considering the theme (somewhat revolved around marijuana smoking), I was a little hesitant to go through with the viewing. Personally, I’m all for people smoking pot, weed, or whatever you’d like to call it, as long as you don’t overdo and are fully aware of the consequences. As the humor website recently pointed out, marijuana activists (if you can call it that, considering the dulling effect it has) often use bad arguments for legalizing marijuana, and about half of them came into play in Pineapple Express (more or less, it’s the top three of those five). Basically, what can be learned from this movie, is that smoking pot may make your life more mellow when smoking it, but it also makes you throw all logic and common sense out the window, which is what these two guys (Dale and Saul, played by Seth Rogen and James Franco, respectively) appear to be doing.

Dale is a process server (ie. those who serve subpoenas to people on behalf of civil courts) who leads a pretty much successful life, using a wide range of creative disguises to fool his targets into acknowledging who they are and receive their subpoenas. He has a girlfriend who’s in high school, and he smokes pot every day (but hides this fact from his girlfriend). After getting a batch of new high-grade pot, with the exotic name “Pineapple Express”, from his dealer Saul, he goes on to serve his next subpoena to a guy named Ted Jones (Gary Cole), who he had found out might be Saul’s dealer, separated by a middle-man named Red (Danny McBride). While finishing up his current joint soon after arriving in front of Ted’s house, Dale becomes witness to a murder inside Ted’s house, assisted by a corrupt female cop, and all hell breaks loose. Dale throws away his joint and gets the hell out of there, ending up at Saul’s house again, telling his story. After finding out that Saul is the only one who has a “preview” of the exclusive Pineapple Express marijuana, the two of them decide to go on the run, since Ted is bound to trace back the source supplier of the joint Dale dropped outside of Ted’s place sooner rather than later. This erupts into a series of bad choices and decisions from the pair, as they jump from running away to finally fighting back.

As I said, during their trip, not a single choice they make is bound by either logic or common sense, and I feel myself cringe at those moments in the film. And to make matters worse, they even take their time to refill their bodies with weed smoke, again, without thinking about the consequences, or sometimes even the fact that they are being chased by people intent on killing them.

The movie does have its high moments (in more than one way), which does pull it back up on its feet, although whenever Dale’s girlfriend (and her family) is involved in the story during their chase (even on a minor level), it all becomes awkward, perhaps hilariously awkward for some people, but just plain awkward for me.

This is more a little above the middle of the road in my case, although those more involved in the pot culture (either directly or in spirit) may enjoy it more than me. I, however, don’t plan to watch it again unless it’s suggested by others (once was enough for me).

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 

One Response to “Pineapple Express”

  1. Jon says:

    I thought Pineapple Express was a surprisingly ok movie given that i didn’t have high hopes for it before i watched it. I’m not really into ‘pot culture’ either but this movie may also cater to these type of comedy movies.