By Aaron Shay
Today is that day, gentle reader.Â Today is the day I write of my cinematic disappointment.
Stoner films have a proud history, though not a credited or cultured one.Â Cheech and Chong are the collective Orson Welles of marijuana films, giving one an idea of the quality stoner films aspire to.Â Unfortunately, Pineapple Express fails to live up to even this low-bar ideal.
The best part about Pineapple was the fight scenes and the car chases.Â Always fun and riveting.Â Unlike the jokes.Â Yes, I expected jokes about marijuana use, those who sell and those who buy; those who scold and those who support.Â I hoped that they would be funny to people who didnâ€™t habitually smoke, but I hoped in vain.Â And thenâ€¦ the classic homosexuality jokes.Â Remember that part in Austin Powers where, in silhouette, it looks like Heather Graham was pulling things out of Austinâ€™s posterior?Â The humor in Pineapple doesnâ€™t climb much higher than that.
The casting was great.Â Seth Rogen plays his recurring role of â€œloveable loser,â€ James Franco of Spiderman fame, pulls off an extremely believable and likewise loveable small-time drug pusher Saul.Â Danny McBride was, at the very least, performed a decent role as white-trash dealer Red.Â It seems McBride has just jumped into the scene magically, and in the past two years has been in some big comedies, such as The Foot Fist Way, Hot Rod, and even Tropic Thunder.Â Heâ€™s even set to star in his own film, East Bound and Down, as a failed major-league athlete teaching physical education.Â Heâ€™s an entertaining actor, not sure if he deserves his own films yet.Â Gary Cole, that great character actor, also plays an inept but vicious villain.
Brief summary: Dale Denton (Rogen), a 24 year old legal processing servant dating an 18 year-old high school girl (beautiful blond Amber Heard,) witnesses a murder while on the job and smoking an extremely rare strain of marijuana, the titular Pineapple Express.Â He escapes, but is soon tracked down by the crime boss behind the murder, who is the only supplier of Pineapple Express in the city.Â The plot soon unfolds into a huge drug war, and in the middle is Dale, his dealer Saul (Franco), and Saulâ€™s dealer, the indelible Red (McBride).Â In the end, a lot of people die.
The most intelligent part of this film is the discussion of the Drug War in regards to marijuana.Â The acts of Dale and his friends, while moronic and silly, are relatively harmless compared to the extreme violence that the battle over marijuana trafficking promotes.Â Rogen, Judd Apatow and Evan Goldberg, the writers, pose a question to the audience: Wouldnâ€™t the world be a better place if marijuana was legalized?Â Wouldnâ€™t it be just a little safer if there was one less drug for criminals to kill each other over?Â Indicted in this plot is the government, of course, for criminalizing the use of the drug because it makes the users question the government.Â Paranoia in marijuana users?Â Shocking.Â Barring the government â€œreasoning,â€ itâ€™s an important discussion.
Overall: Skip this film.Â Rent it when you and your friends are getting high.Â That way it might be funny.