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Even though I was mildly disappointed in Superbad, I’m still a tremendous fan of Seth Rogen and am pretty excited to find out what’s going to happen with his bourgeoning career as a writer. He co-wrote Superbad, and he’s also co-writer on an upcoming comedy called The Pineapple Express, which reunites him with his former ‘Freaks and Geeks’ co-star James Franco on screen. Everything I’ve heard about the movie so far sounds absolutely inspired, and now one of the site’s long time friends has just dropped me an incredibly early review of the film which seems to confirmed all the early buzz about just how genius this script is.
The Pineapple Express doesn’t open in theaters until August 8, 2008… but we have an early review of it for you right now. Here’s “The Midnight Toker” with the first ever review of Seth Rogen’s next movie The Pineapple Express!
I just got back from the new Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow/David Gordan Greene extravaganza The Pineapple Express. We were told that we where the first test screening audience to see the movie (which is kind of like a rock band assuring you that no one rocks like the town that they happen to be in).
In short it’s funny. Really funny.
The easiest way to explain Pineapple Express is: if The Big Lebowski was a forties film noir with this big shambling wreck of a stoner in it then Pineapple Express is like a B 80’s action movie, a Cobra if you will, with two big shambling wrecks of stoners in it. From the opening scene, which combines a wonderful cameo by a crusty Thomas Hayden Church, science experiments, hilarious use of old diving suits, and cold blooded murder into a uproarious combo you know Pineapple Express is going to be something special.
The film follows Seth Rogen as a Process Server who really really likes weed. When he witnesses a murder, the culprits are able to track him and his dealer (James Franco) thanks to the titular strain of smoke. Things get complicated and eventually the two find themselves in the middle of a full scale gang war.
Rogen winds up playing more of a straight man role in this one, allowing Franco to be a revelation in this film. I don’t know what it is with this guy, he was adequate in Spider-Man and I’ve disliked him in just about everything else I’ve seen him in. But here he’s the main comic force behind the film, and he’s really good at it and he’s got many lines which are sure to reach a McLovin level of saturation; including one glorious moment in which a triumphant “Fuck The Police” becomes the funniest thing you have ever heard.
The strange thing about the film though is when they called it an action comedy, they weren’t kidding. While the action is mostly played for laughs, it’s also damn cool on its own, and pretty hardcore, make no mistake this is a hard R movie. For example remember that scene in Kill Bill where Uma Thurman and Vivaca Fox turn her living room into dust. There’s a scene like that in Pineapple Express, at the house of a nigh indestructible drug middle man named Red who damn near steals the movie, except that the fight spirals out into different rooms onto different floors escalating in madness until a pitch perfect beat involving a bathroom sink threatens to cause you to herniated with laughter and squirm in your seat at the same time.
The movie has its flaws, this is after all a rough cut, the most glaring thing is a subplot with Rogen’s high school girlfriend. It generates some funny scenes, including allowing Ed Begley Jr. to step out of his usual Saintly mode and play her giant douche of a father to the hilt (look for “Sandra you’re a fucking idiot” to be another line to be quoted into oblivion) but at the end of the day it doesn’t really go anywhere.
Still, I haven’t even scratched the surface on this film. I’ve made no mention of the scene in which it seems perfectly reasonable to sell weed to a bunch of fifth graders, nor the spectacle of Rosie Perez getting booted in the vagina, nor just how wrong Gary Cole’s negotiations go. I’m not really spoiling anything because Pineapple Express is just chock full of hilarious moments.
Not that it lacks any of the trademark Rogen/Apatow heart either. There’s a surprising amount of sadness to Franco’s character he’s not just some goofy stoner and by the end of the movie his and Rogen’s relationship takes on some real heart and you’re invested in it.
And for the record how the hell did David Gordon Greene direct this movie? Seriously I’m not complaining and I’m not one of those people who demands that their favorite directors stay in their little boxes, but really the guy who made George Washington and All The Real Girls did this? Did the real David Gordan Greene get stuck in bizarre world and his diamond skinned twin is directing for him now? That’s the best explanation I can come up with.
Anyway, for a movie that according to IMDB isn’t coming out until summer 08, Pineapple Express looked damned near complete. I do hope they release it sooner, because I need to see this thing again.
-The Midnight Toker-