Everybody Must Get Stoned
By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 8, 2008 3:40PM
The weed movie might be the last remaining subversive genre in cinema, and Pineapple Express is one long, exceedingly good-natured "fuck you" to the establishment. It tries to be all things to all audiences: a stoner movie, a buddy picture, a gory black comedy, an action thriller and a parody of an action thriller. Remarkably, it pretty much succeeds on all counts.
After accidentally witnessing a murder, stoner Seth Rogan is forced to take it on the lam with his pot dealer (James Franco) in tow. As they flee from both drug lords and a corrupt cop, there's ample time for car chases, slapstick gunplay and goofy dialogue. Rogan seems to be channeling Albert Brooks, which plays brilliantly off Franco's dudesque laissez-faire (one of his sample lines: "You let the monkey out of the bottle.") It's a bromance of the highest order.
Even the violence and gore are good-natured. When Rogan gets part of his ear blown off it's built into a running gag. And director David Gordon Green makes the most of a drawn-out fight sequence among three guys baked out of their minds; it's the funniest slugfest since the big brawl in The Great Race (but with a lot more blood). Pineapple Express successfully one-ups both Quentin Tarantino and Cheech & Chong. Which other movies have even tried to do that?