Friday, August 01, 2008

The Monkey's Out of the Bottle

Like any good buzz, Pineapple Express takes a little while to sink in and take effect. And once you get past the first, oh, 10-15 minutes, you're in for a good time. Not coincidentally, the uptick in the film's quality comes at just about exactly the same time that James Franco comes on the screen, playing Seth Rogen's drug dealer. Franco's Saul sells Rogen's Dale a rare and exclusive brand of pot called Pineapple Express, and after witnessing a murder (don't ask), Dale leaves his roach behind. Thus, the bad guys know exactly who to look for, sending Dale and Saul on the run. Comedy ensues.

Written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg (who also collaborated on the screenplay for Superbad), Pineapple Express is about 10 minutes too long, and as noted, it starts out really slowly. But Franco's great, he and Rogen have perfect buddy chemistry, and Danny McBride steals a couple scenes as another dealer. Also good is Craig Robinson (The Office's Darryl) as a tough guy on Dale and Saul's trail. There are some decent laughs to be had, but nothing that reaches the same comic or emotional, ahem, highs of Superbad. And that's why I'm only going to give Pineapple Express a B.



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