Newest Review: ... even do stand-up comedy. Definitely a 5/5 you definitely cannot go wrong with this DVD if you love comedy and having a laugh with the peop... more
Smokin' hot, or just lukewarm?
Pineapple Express (DVD)
Member Name: sunmeilan
Pineapple Express (DVD)
Advantages: Seth Rogen, some good comic parts
Disadvantages: Not as funny as it could have been, pointless girlfriend thread
Dale Denton is a process clerk who delivers subpoenas to clients, although his favourite pastime, and the one thing that keeps him going between jobs is smoking pot. One day, while delivering a subpoena to a drug lord, he witnesses said drug lord and his girlfriend, a police officer, committing murder. Dale escapes, but leaves the remains of a joint at the scene - and unfortunately, the type of weed he was smoking is a rare strain, called Pineapple Express, and can be traced back to Dale and his supplier, Saul. Dale and Saul are forced to go on the run to escape the wrath of the drug lord. Will they be able to stay safe?
I am a big fan of Seth Rogen. He makes me laugh and I think he's adorable - so what if he's a bit cuddly? I was therefore fairly sure that I would enjoy this film, although I have read a number of critical reviews. As Dale, this is probably one of Rogen's least funny roles - that is not to say that he isn't amusing, because he is, but the emphasis of this film is much more strongly on the side of action rather than quick-fire dialogue, which I think is Rogen's main strength. Still, Rogen does a good job of making his character likeable - not that easy when you consider that he would rather smoke pot than have dinner with his girlfriend's parents. Dale is a bumbler and doesn't mean any harm - he just doesn't really think about the consequences of his actions. I can't say that I think this is Rogen's best role, but I still enjoyed watching him, and would go as far as to say that without him, I don't think the film would really have appealed to me at all.
Dale's dealer, Saul Silver, is played by James Franco, an actor I'm not at all familiar with, although he seems to have had parts in a number of well-known Hollywood films. I enjoyed his role as a pothead who deals because he doesn't really know what else to do and it funds his habit. There isn't much depth to his character though - he does show greater strength of character towards the end of the film, but he is still fairly one-dimensional and I didn't feel as much warmth for him as I did for Dale. I'm not sure that is the actor's fault though - I think that is just how the role was written. The character does provide a few laughs, but more because of his stupidity than anything else. There is a third character, Red (Danny R McBride), who appears on the cover of the DVD along with Rogen and Franco, but his role in the film is minimal really - he certainly didn't make much of an impact on me.
One aspect of the film that I just didn't think fitted in well was the story of Dale's long-suffering girlfriend Angie, played by Amber Heard. Still at school, she is much younger than Dale, but seems to be a lot more mature - not difficult when you consider that Dale is usually high. However, apart from Dale's initial worry that she will be implicated in his situation, the story just peters out and I found it hard to understand the point of the existence of her character in the first place. I think there is enough going on in the film to mean that a love interest that doesn't go anywhere is unnecessary.
The story is a reasonable one, although it isn't particularly memorable and is one that has been done many times before - the whole innocent witness trying to escape from the clutches of a murderous criminal. The screenplay is written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who frequently works with Rogen, with some help from Judd Apatow with regards to the story. It reminded me quite a lot of Simon Pegg's work in that it combines comedy with action - although I have to say that, in this case, I think Pegg does a better job. I personally prefer Rogen when his writing relies more on dialogue than daft circumstances. I still enjoyed the screenplay though - just not as much as some of Rogen's other work.
The whole pot smoking angle could offend a number of people, particularly anyone who is stringently anti-cannabis. I'm not - in fact, I would like to see it legalised for medical purposes at least - but even so, there were times when I thought things got a little out of hand - when Dale is driving and smoking at the same time, for example. On the whole, I suppose the message of the film is that pot smoking is bad for you, especially if you become involved with corrupt police officers and drug barons(!), but there were occasions where it seems that the film-makers are almost glorifying it. There is a classification of 15 (UK), but I suspect that it will appeal to younger teenagers, so parents will need to decide whether or not to clamp down and stop them from watching. There is also a large amount of swearing - again, it didn't bother me, but some will find it offensive.
There is plenty of action and plenty of gun slinging to keep lovers of action films happy. I enjoyed most of it, but there were times when it went on a bit too long - there is only so much beating up and shooting each other that I can watch before I get bored. What I did like was the 'bromance' angle that went on between Dale and Saul, and to a lesser extent, Red - this did make the story that much more watchable. What I did find quite strange was that the soundtrack to the film, which, with all the action, could and should have been amazing, was incredibly dull - I don't think I recognised a single song throughout the course of the film. As the final credits rolled, I recognised Huey Lewis and the News, but still didn't know the song, which was perhaps written for the film. The lack of good music didn't have a massive impact on my enjoyment of the film, but I still can't help but think it was a missed opportunity.
There is just one extra with the DVD - an audio commentary involving Seth Rogen, James Franco, Judd Apatow and others. I played a good part of it because Seth Rogen was quite funny, but to be honest, there wasn't really anything of any merit discussed. I was surprised that there wasn't any more extras - at least a trailer and a blooper reel - but it didn't make that much difference to me.
It probably seems that I've been quite critical of this film, but that is only because I am used to a certain type of humour from Seth Rogen that I enjoy very much, but I felt that it was lacking a little here. I still enjoyed it though and am glad that I own it on DVD. I think that fans of Rogen and that type of crude humour will probably enjoy this film - anyone who likes gentle comedy and rom coms probably won't be so keen. Three and a half stars out of five.
The DVD is available from play.com for £3.99.
Running time: 111 minutes
Summary: Seth Rogen is great, film is average