WEIRDLAND: "Pineapple Express" Review

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Pineapple Express" Review

"For those of you who have seen the 1959 classic Some Like it Hot, about two men who witness a mafia killing and then flee the city disguised as women to elude their chasers, Pineapple Express tells the same tale; with the exception that the two witnesses do not flee, only try to flee, from the neighborhood where the corrupted murder took place (and not dressed as women, but as unconscious stoners). Marijuana, the drug that makes our two main characters feel good, is illegal, but no one seems to pay attention to murderers, drug lords or crooked police officers.

Multitalented director, David Gordon Green (Snow Angels) gives viewers a unique experience. He directs with an eye that dismisses the ordinary. With a budget of $25 million (reportedly Seth Rogen wanted $50 million), Green squeezes every possible nickel out as he literally directs a comedy that is both epic in its style and in its visuals. Pineapple Express lays claim to a couple of gay drug dealers, exciting car chases, a drug war between Asians and crooked cops, gun blazing standoffs, a subpoena officer, and a beautifully orchestrated opening sequence in black and white about the illegalization of marijuana. Two stoner witnesses (Seth Rogen and James Franco), along with their friend Red (Danny McBride), are caught in the thick of all of this. It would be a miracle to find all of this stuff ever again assembled on screen at the same time.Pineapple Express is produced by Judd Apatow - the recent sensation and rejuvenator of the comedy genre- as he once again disperses his patented “Apatow Touch,” which is the ability to make the male gender bond under the most uncommon of circumstances. Teaming the marijuana buyer/murder witness/subpoena giver, Dale Denton (Rogen) with the marijuana seller/doer, Saul Silver (Franco) paves the road for a succession of hilarious sequences, with some occasional dry spells, between the two as they flee from lady cops, two hit-men, a drug lord, Asians and other outrageous people who are only involved in making money. Of course it produces laughs. But we don’t realize, until after we've left the cinema, just how subtle the film’s story is. That amidst the array of pot, explosions, sex and virgins, what the team of Apatow has created is a coming of age tale".
-Review by David DiMichele

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