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"Pineapple Express" carries empty calories (which isn't necessarily bad.)

Posted at 4:50 PM on August 6, 2008 by Euan Kerr

Setting aside all the moral and legal issues posed by a story shrouded in a dense blanket of dope smoke, "Pineapple Express," the latest in the Judd Apatow film pantheon, is a fine addition to the lovable idiot buddy movie genre.

Seth Rogan stars as Dale Denton, a stoner who witnesses a gang killing then goes on the run with his dealer Saul Silver (James Franco) after the gangsters trace them through the rare strain of dope the pair is smoking.

Rogan, who wrote the script with Evan Goldberg, has a deft touch panicked idiocy, a state which he veers into regularly as Franco blunders in and out of consciousness. They keep coming up with schemes to escape to safety, but as they continually regress into childishness the plans fall apart. At one point they seriously discuss whether they can convince the bad guy after them to kill himself.

It's only late in the film that they realize smoking more is not the best response to being chased by murderous thugs.

Switch the smoke for booze and "Pineapple Express" is not that far removed from the Lewis and Martin films, or even the Crosby and Hope movies, (apart from the swearing and the blood of course.) It's also fun to see cast members from "Freaks and Geeks," "Saturday Night Live" and even "Mad TV" roll through the movie at various stages. Ed Begley Jr and Denton's girlfriend's enraged father is a particular treat.

You won't improve your understanding of the human condition from watching "Pineapple Express," but it will satisfy those with a need to connect with their inner idiot.

August 2008
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