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PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

SYNOPSIS:
Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a pot head whose supplier Saul Silver (James Franco) is as lazy as he is. When Dale witnesses a murder by a crooked cop and the city's most dangerous drug lord (Gary Cole), he panics and dumps his roach of the rare new strain of weed, Pineapple Express, at the scene. The weed is so rare it's traceable - to them. Dale and Saul run for their lives, as the bad guys are hot on their trail and trying to figure out the fastest way to kill them both.

Review by Louise Keller:
If you liked Superbad, chances are you'll find something in Pineapple Express to like. While Superbad concentrated on friendships between boys during their gauche teen years, this new Seth Rogen stoner comedy is a buddy movie of sorts between weed supplier and user and follows their unbelievable exploits with the drug heavies, the middle man, a crooked cop and everyone else who happens along. Filled with expletives and dumbed down crass humour, the strength of Pineapple Express lies in the sweetly naive central characters played by Rogen and James Franco, whose bond is cemented by the weed they smoke. There are a couple of funny ideas, but there are plenty of weaknesses, like the lack of cohesive plot, the repetitive nature of the humour and the fact that we don't care a tropical pineapple hoot what happens to any of the characters.

Rogen's Dale and his supplier Franco's Saul have two things in common, the first is that they like smoking weed and the second is that they both smoke on the job. Dale is a process server, who mooches around in his car all day smoking weed before donning an outfit from his bag of fancy dress when he is about to serve the required subpoena. Saul simply hangs about in his flat waiting for clients to pick up their stash. Not surprisingly, when Saul tells Dale he just got a shipment of dope called Pineapple Express, which smells "like God's vagina", Dale is in seventh heaven. After witnessing a murder while sitting in his car waiting to serve a subpoena, Dale finds Saul and together they do the dumbest things. After bashing phone on rock in forest, there are heads thrust through walls, a stabbing with a fork, duck tape used to adhere someone to a wheelchair and clumsy gun battles with bloody results.

Rogen plays Dale as a hyperactive version of himself and Franco gets swallowed up in his helpless, hopeless Saul, the well-meaning victim who wants to save up to buy a retirement home for his ageing grandmother. There's a lot of screaming, squealing and swearing as all parties (the drug lords, their 'little Asian people' counterparts, the crooked female cop, Dale and Saul) come together for a somewhat elongated climactic sequence involving a warehouse of marijuana plants that does not feel like much of a climax at all. This is the kind of film that relies on its audience to find four letter words funny. I guess being stoned would help.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (MA)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Amber Heard, Bill Hader, James Remar, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez, Kevin Corrigan, Stormy

PRODUCER: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson

DIRECTOR: Davdi Gordon Green

SCRIPT: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg (story by Rogen, Goldberg, Judd Apatow)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tim Orr

EDITOR: Craig Alpert

MUSIC: Graeme Revell

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Chris Spellman

RUNNING TIME: 111 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 7, 2008







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