Before I get into the review, I just want to say that Netflix Roulette will be going ahead, and I plan on watching The Machine tonight (7th February), so expect a full review up tomorrow. However, I postponed that because I decided to review a film that has been on my radar for a very long time, so let’s get into it.
Pineapple Express is a stoner comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, the duo behind the controversy-train The Interview. Released in 2008, Pineapple Express follows Dale Denton (Rogen) and his drug dealer Saul Silver (Franco) as they get caught up in a massive drug war. I think it’s best to keep my synopsis of the film brief, because the story’s twists are best experienced first hand. However, I will say that the plot of Pineapple Express is incredibly zany, and this can be quite jarring, because the moment you think you know the deal, something utterly ridiculous will happen and the film will change completely. The plot is also super-convenient, and since it’s a comedy I should let it slide, but the bottom line is the events of the film never should have taken place. I’m trying to be quite cryptic, but any rational person wouldn’t have reacted in the way the villains in this did, and really, the whole thing never would have happened.
However, it’s not completely terrible. In fact, I actually quite enjoyed Pineapple Express. Performances were generally good, particularly an almost unrecognisable James Franco as Saul, and Jonny Depp’s beau Amber Heard as Dale’s high-school sweetheart. Although some of the villains in the film definitely try and steal every scene they are in, the performances were never bad enough to drag me out of the experience.
One excellent factor of Pineapple Express was its humour. A lot of the time I found myself laughing out loud, particularly in the first half, and this is mostly due to the comedic timing of Rogen and Franco. Normally I’m not a fan of comedies, and I tend to prefer a darker and more realistic story, but I did have a good time with this.
I enjoyed Pineapple Express because it reminded me of several other films, bringing back some fond memories. The funky opening made me think of Superbad, another Apatow production, and I wouldn’t be surprised if both these films took place in the same universe. Who knows, maybe McLovin goes to the same high school as Dale’s girlfriend Angie? The final fight reminded me of Hot Fuzz a little, with a few friends emulating action heroes, and being generally badass after a pretty intrepid experience thus far.
One huge issue I had with the film was the gaping plot holes. The film is almost two hours, venturing far out of typical comedy territory, which meant too much time was spent at the beginning of the film hinting at events that would turn out to be meaningless. Take, for example, Angie’s character in general. At the beginning, Rogen’s character voices his concerns of her going to college, worried that she will be tempted to be unfaithful, yet this is never mentioned again, or resolved, which is a shame. This occured again towards the end, when in an emotionally heightened phonecall, Angie tells Dale to call her when it is safe, and maybe they can try again, BUT WE NEVER SEE HER AGAIN. It really ruins the film for me which is a massive shame, because otherwise I did quite enjoy it. In some films, for example Donnie Darko or The Sixth Sense, you watch it the first time quite unaware, but on repeat viewings you pick up on the subtle foreshadowing and the more thematic references. However, I’m not sure I will ever watch Pineapple Express again, because the plot holes are so gaping that the viewer expects something great to happen, and since it is quite a long film, you expect everything to be resolved, but trust me, the plot holes will leave you disappointed and feeling a bit cheated.
By no means do I think Pineapple Express is a bad film, but it had the potential to be something much better than it actually is. Gaping plot holes aside, it is quite enjoyable, and I’d recommend giving it a watch if you haven’t already, because there are some gags that really work, and for the most part, Rogen and Franco pull it off. Watch it by all means, but don’t anticipate wanting to see it again. It’s a decent enough film, that really had the potential to be special, but was unfortunately dragged down.
I give Pineapple Express 7 out of 10.
What did you think of Pineapple Express? Be sure to leave a comment below, and to share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or anything! Until next time, thanks for reading!