Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pineapple Express (2008)

The Judd Apatow universe continues to grow and change. In the beginning, everything was written and directed by Judd Apatow (“The 40 Year Old Virgin”, “Knocked Up”) More and more now, the actors that Apatow has used repeatedly in his TV shows and films are taking over the creative role in Apatow Productions. The results are sometimes brilliant, as with “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” written by star Jason Segel. Other efforts, like “Superbad,” have been mostly great, definitely hilarious, but not quite at genius level. “Pineapple Express” fits into the second group. The toker bromance features Seth Rogen as a pothead process server and James Franco as his pot dealer. When Rogen’s character witnesses a drug murder, the two go on the run from the guilty drug lord and a crooked cop. Hilarity and some seriously violent action ensue.

I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t like this film. There is some truly funny stuff here. I did find, however, that the movie had something of an odd tone. It’s clearly a comedy, and a farce at that, yet the mood turns quite dark at times. There are some scenes of brutal violence that seemed a bit off. Also, I did get tired of the man-love, crying buddies stuff. I don’t know why, but this seems to be a motif of Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg. These guys wrote “Superbad,” another funny movie slightly tainted by scenes of two guys hugging each other and promising to be best friends forever.

This is still a 90% hilarious film. Manage your expectations appropriately, and you are bound to have a good time with it.

3.5 stars out of 5

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