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PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, 2008
Movie Reviews!

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PINEAPPLE EXPRESS MOVIE POSTER
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS
Movie Review

Directed by David Gordan Green
Starring Seth Rogan, James Franco, Danny McBride, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez
Review by Eli Manning



SYNOPSIS:

A stoner and his dealer are forced to go on the run from the police after the pothead witnesses a cop commit a murder.

REVIEW:

Seth Rogan, Co-Writer and Star of Pineapple Express, has a face that everyone loves. It's non-threatening in every way and that makes us feel comfortable when he's on screen. We don't look up to him as he's never played a character any of us would ever want to be. And we don't look down on him as we know that he tries his best. This is a man born to be a comedic actor for Hollywood, which is why he is on such a role at an unusually young age. But this movie shows that he still has a long way to go to be considered in the elite class of comedy actors.

I guess Rogan plays Dale Denton, this generations Cheech as James Franco (of Spiderman fame) plays Saul Silver the Chong version. Cheech/Dale is always overly hyper and is someone who can't shut up. As Chong/Silver is the mellow, all is always good and life is simple pot smoker.

Pineapple Express is another Judd Apatow driven comedy. If you've seen his past films (40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Knocked Up), you will understand that you are entering a film that really has no plot. His movies progress in a casual manner that go somewhere, but not the same roads you'd probably choose to go down. He has the confidence that you're going to like the scenic route instead of the practical and safe highways of Hollywood storytelling. Sometimes you're glad and in the case of Pinapple Express, you wished you didn't get in his car.

It's interesting that someone who looks like Seth Rogan is turning into a movie star. He seems capable of opening a movie better than Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt these days. Judd Apatow is in the midst of making his real life version of The Revenge of the Nerds. He's taken the lead mic at the podium and people are listening. Pretty soon millions of people will be shouting Nerds, Nerds, Nerds as they listen to Queen's We Are the Champions!

The Nerds have had their run but it's time for the big boys to take control and push them aside (after all it's not that hard!). Pineapple Express is not a good movie. In fact it's a really bad movie. It's plot is silly, the actors are one-dimensional at best and the laughs are few and far between. Rogan and Franco are capable actors but they are definitely no Cheech and Chong. Those classic 70's icons have more character in their pot induced sweat than Rogan and Franco will ever have in their entire comedic souls.

And that's why Pineapple Express fails. It needs the two leads to carry us through the silly conflicts and lazy storytelling. The best comedy is momentum comedy. It starts funny and stays funny so even if there is a lazy joke in the middle of the film, we still laugh because we are used to laughing. As soon as 5 minutes go by in a comedy and you're not giggling, then the momentum is lost.

I think they knew they were in trouble because the third act consists of some of the most overused cliches in movie history. You know that scene in a buddy movie where things are going good and then a fight happens between the two of them? When a lot of true feelings of what they think is revealed and feelings are then hurt? Then the two buddies separate so we can have a climatic/they save each other ending. It's been done 100's of times, and it's done again in Pineapple Express.

Funny thing about this film too is that Rogan and Franco aren't the best buddy team in the movie. That goes to the comedic team of Pulp Fiction's Jules and Vincent. The duo that's tracking down the Rogan and Franco for the big drug boss (played by the completely wasted Gary Cole). It's a good idea to take legendary movie characters and turn them into comedy characters. I wish that they were the main characters as these are guys I wouldn't mind taking a scenic drive with. Pineapple Express should do well at the box office but it shouldn't. It's time for team Apatow to take a break and regroup. The 40 Year Old Virgin and perhaps Superbad will stand the test of time and will be watched by a new generation 20 years from now. But this is a film that won't be remembered in six months.

And I know what they're trying to do. Pineapple Express is an attempt at a franchise film. They want this to be a hit so they can make more of these movies and be the new Cheech and Chong. And the only thing we can do to stop that is to not see the film.

1 star out of 4!

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