Despite not being a huge fan of the whole "stoner movie" genre, I cannot say I was surprised to find myself wanting to see "Pineapple Express," the latest installment from Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Judd Apatow.
More often than not, I enjoy the things they put out, and this movie is no exception (it also doesn’t hurt that I have a tiny crush on Rogen, but that’s a different matter).
Rogen plays Dale Denton, a process server who, in between donning disguises to give people bad news (e.g. subpoenas) and calling into talk radio shows for advice about his relationship with a high school senior, smokes marijuana all day long.
He seems content with his laid-back lifestyle until the day he runs out of his stash.
He goes to his dealer Saul (played wonderfully by James Franco), who gives him a special strain of marijuana called Pineapple Express. In fact, it’s so great Saul says, "It’s almost a shame to smoke it…it’s like killing a unicorn, with a bomb."
While waiting in his smoke-filled car to issue a summons, Dale witnesses the guy who he was waiting for to "serve" kill a man.
In his hazy state, he throws out his Pineapple Express, backs into a few cars and draws the attention of the killers.
It’s just too bad for Dale that Ted Jones (Gary Cole) is the head dealer of the potent pot and knows the only person who sells it.
From there, Dale and Saul go on a quest to outsmart the assassins that are on their trail, and to smoke as much marijuana as possible, even though they need their wits to get them through it alive.
There is a preconception that you have to be under the influence of illegal substances to find these types of movies humorous, but I don’t buy that theory.
I was completely clear-headed and laughing my tail off during points of this movie. Watching the stoner fight scenes (complete with throwing an ashtray at someone’s face and smashing them over the head with a bong), was the most entertained I have been in weeks – movie wise.
I also wasn’t a big fan of Franco’s acting before this movie, but he really pulled off this role. I find it funny that they put this scraggly wig on him and dirtied him up to make him less attractive in this role, but that didn’t work at all. I’m not exactly sure what would, but the long hair, odd speech and slightly grungy look worked- quite well.
But for all its action sequences, cool quips and awesome characters, it doesn’t quite measure up to my favorite "stoner" movie: "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Movie makers always try, but there can be no other Jeff Spicoli. He makes that movie untouchable.
I gave this film a B-.
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.