Surprisingly Not Bad Coming From Apatow
- I am not a fan of the vast majority of films from producer/writer/director Judd Apatow. I think he is one of the major factors that contributes to the continual ruining of Hollywood with his adolescent, witless brand of comedy. If he keeps it up, it will be impossible to put funny back into comedy 10-20 years down the road. So imagine my surprise when after I sat down to watch Pineapple Express (2008) I found it to be a pretty enjoyable stoner comedy.
In a neo noir yet moronic stoner comedy fashion, stoner/court paper server Dale Denton (Seth Rogan) witnesses a murder and, along with his pot dealer Saul (James Franco), get chased by the bad guys while somehow managing to dig themselves deeper and deeper into the bad situation.
Pineapple Express is a pretty funny film - mostly thanks to the comedic delivery and overall performances of Franco and Rogan. Rogan plays mostly a frustrated straight-man and Franco develops one of the most likeably stoned characters ever (up there with Sgt. Oddball (Donald Sutherland) from Kelly's Heroes (1970) and Brian (Jim Breuer) from Half Baked (1998)).
But the film does have its downsides. It gets way too over-the-top to really enjoy here and there throughout, Craig Robinson is really just annoying in his role, and Danny McBride gives a painfully bad performance of an incredibly grating character.
Still, the film features some genuinely funny gags and is completely made by Franco and Rogan. Pineapple Express is easily the best Judd Apatow-related movie I've ever seen so far after Fun With Dick And Jane (2005) - not that it is much of a race.
CBC Rating: 6/10