The Pineapple Express ****

Seth Rogan and James Franco

Seth Rogan and James Franco

When I saw the preview for “The Pineapple Express” I got very nervous.  The director is David Gordon Green, who has directed some of the finest, most poetic films I have ever seen.  I just could not wrap my head around the fact that he was going to direct a stoner comedy starring Seth Rogan and James Franco.  The preview did in fact look very funny, and did feel like it was going to be great, but I still could not wrap my head around it.

After seeing it I realized that this director is truly unique.  He had taken the concept of a stoner comedy and infused it with his own personal touches.  Most people might not pick up on it.  The people that are probably going to see this movie will laugh, loudly, as I did, but will they see the unique quality that Gordon Green brings to his films?

The screenplay was written by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, the crazy bastards behind last years hilarious raunchy teen movie, “Superbad”.  They have a knack for writing foul mouthed dialogue that seemed real and natural.  This time it is even better.  Take the character of Saul for example.  He is played beautifully by James Franco.  He is a drug dealer who is stoned pretty much all the time and makes some of thee most profound statements about things that are going on around him.  Rogan on the other hand plays Dale, who is dating an 18 year old high school student, and has a way of motor mouthing his way through dangerous situations.  Together they end up on the run after Dale witness’ a rather dangerous drug dealer murder a rival gang member.

The two boys hook up with my favourite character in this movie played by Danny McBride.  He is Red, who takes pride in being a good friend, and is the middle man between Saul and his suppliers.  His perception of reality and his ability to avoiding certain death is hilarious. 

But the best scene in the movie involves Dale, showing up at his girlfriends house for dinner, filthy, high, and bleeding.  He tries to explain himself in the films funniest moment. 

The biggest surprise to me in this movie is how Gordon Green handles the action scenes in this movie.  He doesn’t shy away from brutal violence, and brings fresh details to what would be routine clichés in a big budget thriller.  For example, during a car chase, Saul tries to kick out the front window, with dire and hilarious results.

If this movie is as big a success as I think it will be, it might open Green up to a whole new level of filmmaking, but at the same time, part of me does not want to lose him to mainstream fare.  What a dilemma.

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