He does a great Jeff Goldblum impression

For better or worse, you know what you're getting when you go and see a Judd Apatow-produced flick by now, and fortunately/unfortunately 'Pineapple Express' is no exception. There are plenty of laughs - mostly from terrific one-liners and some funny characters - a plot that really doesn't matter one bit, and some sort of resolution at the end. Like 'Knocked Up', I saw it opening night, laughed a whole lot, and then probably won't think too much about it again.

Some reviews have suggested that you have to be on drugs to find it funny, but that wasn't my experience. I actively cheered at the shout-out to my beloved Godspeed You! Black Emperor, which in reference terms is up there with "You're like David Caruso in 'Jade'" from 'The 40 Year Old Virgin'. There's a great fight scene between Rogen, Franco and the unfailingly polite Red, played by Danny McBride whose 'Foot Fist Way' left cinemas here after, like, two days, so I'm yet to see. Franco is especially great, playing the understated but supremely funny drug dealer. Seth Rogen plays the shlubby deadbeat who doesn't understand why people get frustrated with him. Sound familiar? There's a subplot about Rogen and his girlfriend, Angie, which is sorta funny but does deliver a knockout scene with Ed Begley, Jr. I was pretty happy to hear Eddie Grant's 'Electric Avenue', a song about a street in South London, over the opening credits. And apparently, Spiritualized are on the soundtrack. Oh, and there's a classy pre-credits sequence with Bill Hader, who has now been mentioned on this site twice in a few days. He must be very proud.

There's been much talk about director David Gordon Green, whose previous output is a million miles away from the Hot-Fuzz-with-marijuana that's on display here. As a huge fan of his (I LOVE 'George Washington' and 'Undertow'), I was pleased to see him having fun here. There are some pretty elaborate, spectacular action sequences, some involving cars, others involving fire. It's nice to see him getting some acclaim, and if it means more people will watch 'George Washington', then I'm delighted.

For me, it is enough that 'Pineapple Express' made me laugh a few times, even if I felt it was among the weaker films from that stable. Not as bad as 'Walk Hard', though. The penultimate, big action scene really lagged in places. The inclusion of Asian ninjas was a touch too silly for my liking. And the ending scene, in a diner, is dumb as planks. But again, I still laughed a whole bunch, which given some of the competition this summer, is a good thing.

Incidentally, speaking of the "reliability" factor of these films, let me just tell you about two of the trailers that came first. One had Michael Cera playing an adorable, soft-spoken awkward teenager, and another had Christopher Mintz-Plasse as an even more awkward, weird teen. Both films look funny, but again, it's EXACTLY what we expect of these actors.


margottobed said...

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Lyla Lou said...

I loved Pineapple Express! Huge 'Freaks & Geeks' fan so I'm pretty partial to anything with any of those guys in it.

And I can't get enough of that song from the trailer, it's amazing.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

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