David Gordon Green's "Pineapple Express" High On Laughs

Around this same time last year, writing buddies Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg conquered the August heat by entertaining audiences with high-school comedy "Superbad." Their latest project, "Pineapple Express," is a darker and more violent buddy comedy than "Superbad," in which the heroes are chasing the perfect high and being chased by rival drug lords, giving new meaning to the paranoid pothead.


A little weary of the Judd Apatow brand, I had my doubts about "Pineapple Express." "Knocked Up" grossed out the guys (thanks for sharing, Katharine Heigl) but didn't win the hearts of the girls, "Superbad" reduced audiences to 15-year-old boys, and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" had a little too much of Jason Segel's sad manhood. So, you can't really blame me for lowering my expectations after seeing a trailer for "Pineapple Express" in which stoner James Franco exclaims that the titular drug "smells like God's vagina."


Oh, how wrong I was. Director David Gordon Green, known better for his dark dramas ("Snow Angels") than for any sort of gross-out comedy, brings a little bit of the macabre to "Pineapple Express," making it violently funny and at the same time thrilling.


As for the story, we've got Seth Rogen starring as Dale Denton, a process server who makes his job more bearable by being as stoned as possible as often as possible. He gets his drugs from James Franco's Saul Silver, a lonely but kind-hearted dealer sporting an ancient "Jaws" t-shirt and striped pajama-style pants. The brotherly love begins to show when Saul shares a bit of top-shelf product, called pineapple express, with his favorite customer Denton. This blend of pot is so unmistakable that when Denton witnesses a murder while delivering legal papers and throws his joint into the street, he and Saul are immediately targeted, via middleman Red (Danny McBride) by drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole).


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