Customer Reviews: Pineapple Express
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VINE VOICEon August 7, 2008
A movie like PINEAPPLE EXPRESS should not be expected to be talked about in the same breath as CITIZEN KANE or GONE WITH THE WIND. However, it has nonetheless ascended to near the top ranks in its own particularly little sub-genre: the "pot" comedy.

While Cheech & Chong's UP IN SMOKE will probably always lead the pack, simply for being the first (and for being very it's day)...EXPRESS is the first film of its ilk to boast huge laughs, modest thrills, enjoyable lead characters and a narrative structure that doesn't fall apart the further it goes. For example, the HAROLD AND KUMAR films can be greatly amusing, but their "plot" grows more and more flaccid and pointless as they move along. The lead "characters" are hardly believable as people...they are comic devices.

In PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, we have the story of a process server (Seth Rogan) who enjoys doing little else but smoking pot. He is decent at his job, but also spends much of it sitting in his car smoking. He's dating a high school girl who would have been seriously out of his league when HE was in school. His "best friend" may just be his pot dealer (James Franco.) And through an unfortunate circumstance, Rogan witnesses the murder of an Asian drug dealer by the leader (Gary Cole) of the other drug ring in his city. The murder is aided by a policewoman (Rosie Perez), who is also a pretty vicious killer. They get wise to who their witness is when Rogan makes the mistake of tossing his half-smoked joint out the window of his car as he hurriedly drives away. You see, the joint is made of a new weed called Pineapple Express, which thus far has been sold only to one drug middleman (Danny McBride), who has only sold it to one of his dealers...Franco. Thus, almost immediately, Rogan and Franco are on the run for their lives. Eventually they will have to beat these violent men at their own game just to survive.

That's about it for the basics of the plot...but what is nice about it is the way it holds together from beginning to end. The characters go through a journey and they change and grow a little. While the dialogue and humor are important, this is one "pot" movie where the plot is actually important to the film, not just an excuse to make "I'm so stoned" jokes.

Rogan is basically playing his character from KNOCKED UP again...but if you need that sort of character, he's got it down cold. He's a nice loser who actually looks like a real life person. Danny McBride joins this group of losers midway through, and he brings a nice jolt of almost absurdist humor the film. He's like Rasputin mixed with the character Terry on RENO 911 (you know, the "male prostitute" on roller skates). Gary Cole and Perez are a little too generic, and frankly, the bad guys in the film are not well-sketched out. Their behavior is inconsistent and not always credible.

James Franco steals the film, though. He was born to play this role. In movies as varied as SPIDERMAN and FLYBOYS...he often is unsuccessful at playing a button up, "serious" types. He's better when allowed to let his slacker show through. In FREAKS AND GEEKS, he was a stoner heartthrob, who discovered he had deep reserves of loyalty and love. In PINEAPPLE, he's a stoner with very little to offer, but who has a simplicity and openness about him that makes him likeable. Yes, it's the pot that has made him this way...but Franco refuses for settle for a simple caricature. His stoned but winning eyes & smile are the heart of this film.

The humor is certainly R-rated. Lots of "f" bombs. A fair amount of violence near the end too. It's crass and loud at times. Sometimes the jokes are obvious and unoriginal. But mostly it is sustained by moments of real feeling (as we see so often in films with the name Apatow stamped on them), likeable characters and a plot that has a beginning, middle & end.

Now, finally, let me comment on the "drug" elements. I don't use drugs. Even in my days of "youthful indiscretion" I was not a dabbler. I would certainly be what anyone would call "conservative" on this particular issue. So therefore, I might tend to take offense at such "glorification" of drugs. But I'm not sure that the film does that. True, it pretty much assumes that the entire world does drugs. But it also shows, quite clearly and without preaching, that the use of these drugs, while inducing pleasurable feelings, also induces stupid decision making, slothfulness and wastefulness. Clearly, it sides with those who would make pot legal...but it doesn't disdain those who oppose this. It simply IS. I can't imagine this film would make anyone change their behavior. Those who use pot regularly already are likely to smile in recognition at much of the behavior. Those who don't use it will NOT be inspired to give it a try. So while I'm not thrilled at a film that is clouded 90% of the time with pot fumes...I can't get upset about it either.
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on August 9, 2008
This was another in a long line of funny movies from Judd Apatow, but with a lot more action thrown in for good measure. Seth Rogen may always sound and act the same in everything he does, but that doesn't make him any less funny. James Franco is the real star of the show. I always thought he had great potential, but he just seemed so bland in the Spider-Man movies and Flyboys. This is a well acted and funny performance. I heard some people on the web talk about casting him as The Joker in the next Batman movie. Whether it happens or not, I now think he has a chance to pull it off. All the other cast members are weirdly memorable, especially the cat loving drug dealer who just won't die.

Pineapple Express does get really violent and a little gory towards the end, but it is a good mix of comedy and action. It's just plain fun.

3 and 1/2 out of 5 stars
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on December 5, 2008
Saw this movie in the theater, and it was funny the whole way through. In my opinion, it wasn't like a normal pot movie, where people that don't smoke wouldn't enjoy it, it is funny for pretty much anyone. It's stupid funny sometimes, dark humor other times, smart and stupid, action and drama (a little bit), but all around hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried, and I felt it for days after--quite the ab workout! Definitely worth the money!
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VINE VOICEon January 31, 2011
Truth be told, there were moments in this film where I died of uncontrollable laughter. I mean, Seth Rogen is hilarious, and James Franco is really transforming into an actor I get excited about watching. What happened there? There was a time when I would intentionally avoid movies starring that guy. I must say, he's surprised me. This film is a little unevenly crafted, but the end result is not anything to be ashamed of. It basically follows some stoner idiots as they run from a corrupt police officer and a drug dealer who they happened to witness kill some guy. The film bounces along nicely, remaining forgivably unbelievable. The ending, for me, was a mess and that whole action sequence overload killed a little of the films `fun factor', but the ending diner sequence was a laugh riot so I forgave it. James Franco owns this movie, playing a mindless stoner to perfection with the right amount of overplayed tenderness to make his character a pure standout. Not much else to say here. I'd watch it again.
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on August 22, 2016
Wildly funny and completely inappropriate, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS combines ribald, marijuana-fueled comedy with action and violence. Imagine a Cheech and Chong film directed by Quentin Tarantino, and you'll have a general idea of the feel of the film. Written by star Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who also wrote Superbad, Pineapple Express offers a similar blend of meatheaded male bonding and foulmouthed comedy; of course, in Superbad, the teen heroes were facing humiliation and the opposite sex, not death and dismemberment. (An interesting aside: In a GQ article about Rogen, Pineapple Express producer Judd Apatow offered his own anti-pot take on the film, noting that he feels the movie "is clearly a story about how pot leads to Asian gangs trying to murder you.")

Pineapple Express has plenty of action and broad jokes (a car chase gone wrong is wildly funny), but it's the interplay between Rogen and Franco that makes the film truly worthwhile. Rogen is short-fused, irritated, and frustrated; Franco is so laid back he's nearly in a coma. Both actors shade what could have been one-note performances with nice moments of depth that make the comedy even funnier -- Rogen's Dale steps up and does the right thing on several occasions, while Franco's Saul shows glimmers of self-awareness and self-doubt through the thick haze of reefer smoke he lives in. Director David Gordon Green's prior films (All the Real Girls, Undertow, Snow Angels) have been art-house hits, but Pineapple Express may make him a mainstream success; similarly, it's safe to say that this will be Franco's biggest movie ever without the words "Spider" or "Man" in the title. Pineapple Express's mix of blunts and body count won't be for everyone, but also much more of a movie than it looks like, brilliantly mocking and celebrating buddy-action movies while giving Rogen and Franco great lines and great characters. Funny, funky, and fresh, Pineapple Express may be one of the standout comedies of 2008.
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on September 25, 2008
Pineapple Express stars the soon to be a household name, Seth Rogen, whose film personality seems to roll over into every character he's portrayed so far. This trait is usually seen as a drawback and is most often frowned upon, but he's seemed to master the art of the typecasted actor. The film opens with a scene at an underground Military Research Facility during the 1930's. Inside the facility top military officials are observing the results of a Soldier who has just smoked Marijuana in order to determine its psychological effects; the results, as you can imagine, are hilarious.

Cut to modern times, James Franco plays a humble pot dealer that has the persona of not just being the 'go-to-guy' for pot, but a 'genuine friend'. Seth's character makes it apparent that he is not looking to expand on the relationship during their 'transactions'; but when he opts to stay a while, a true comedic chemistry is portrayed.
You may or may not have heard that,**drumroll** 'Pineapple Express' is a brand of weed based upon an actual weather effect in the Pacific Ocean*; Franco introduces it to Rogen as an ultra-rare strain available only thru him(the way he describes the rarity of it is comical ingenuity).

After Pineapple Express is introduced into the film; Rogen, who prefers to smoke while on the job, comes across a 'wrong place at the wrong time' situation and witnesses a murder occur. The killer, who sees Rogen's attempt to get away, only after hitting the car in front of and behind him, links the witness through the roach he threw out of his car window to the dealer(Franco) he buys it from. This incident would begin the buddy comedy-esque story filled with cat and mouse style pursuing, ridiculous humor in between, moderate violence and a shootout towards the end of the flick.

The film is rated 'R' and YES, there is a pro-marijuana undertone to the movie, so if you are sensitive to this topic, dont bother watching it. HIGHly recommended comedy for the liberal, open minded crowd. Solid 4 outta 5 Comedy.

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on January 30, 2016
Amazing that such a violent movie can be so funny. But it is. An original and fun movie. Seth Rogan seemed a bit out of place in his role, another actor would have been much better but it was still well worth the money and is one that I'll watch again for sure.
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on December 30, 2015
This is one of those simple movies that will make you laugh out loud. If you have never seen it before it is worth taking a look at. When I purchased this DVD I had already seen the movies a few times I just wanted to add it to my movie collection.
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on June 9, 2010
The movie was so good it's hard to fault the Blu Ray's lack of content (not horribly lacking, but could have been better) or the slow loading time (that is horrible, but that's Blu Rays in general and not just this one).

So, since I got this for less than $10 shipped, I can honestly say that it was worth every penny. This movie is absolutely hysterical, so even for a few more dollars it's still a 3 or 4 * purchase.

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on January 13, 2015
I really wanted to watch this movie. But I really didn't want to spend a lot for it. What if I didn't like it? I didn't wanna feel like I wasted my money if I didn't like it. So when I saw it for a low price, I couldn't pass that up. And the unrated version for a low price? Couldn't pass it up! I love the movie! It arrived fast, and the DVD in perfect condition. I would order from here again!
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