Warning! This site contains satire, cynical adult humor, celebrity gossip, and an occasional peanut by-product or two!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pineapple Express

I have to admit I’ve been a bit amused this week by some of the young’uns that work at the Essex Cinemas. I went to see Pineapple Express over the weekend and when I came out of the theater all of the staff looked at me as if they thought my tired old heart might not be able to take it. “Well…” ventured Metta, the bravest of the lot. “What did you think?” He asked this in a voice that betrayed his obvious concern. The truth is simply that none of these folk under the age of 25 or so seems to think us ‘old farts’ past forty know anything about marijuana yet alone have experienced it first-hand.

Apparently every generation assumes that it is the one to discover cannabis and cultivate an ongoing relationship with it. I thought the same thing thirty years ago when I was sitting next to my
70-something grandfather as we watched an episode of “The Streets of San Francisco” featuring a storyline about marijuana trafficking. Poor naïve me squirmed on the couch in embarrassment at the very subject when Grandpa noticed my awkwardness in his presence. “What’s the matter, Princess?” he asked. “You don’t think your old Grandpa knows anything about reefer? How in the heck do you think your grandmother and I kept a roof over our heads back during the Great Depression? If it wasn’t for grass and the Bolivian Marching Powder the whole family would’ve been out in the streets. I was smoking weed long before your father was a twinkle in your Grandmama’s eye.” With that he chuckled a big Grandpa laugh and waited for my response, but all he got was stunned silence, a lot like what the staff at the Essex Cinemas must have been expecting, but today was different. Today, they got laughs.

Pineapple Express has got to be the funniest movie of the summer even if those laughs are about as lowbrow as they come. The story is simple enough. Process server (and major stoner) Dale Denton (Seth Rogen; Superbad), witnesses a murder by dangerous drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole; Breach) and his girlfriend Carol (Rosie Perez; The Take), a renegade cop. He panics and drops his joint at the scene as he crashes his car into a couple of parked vehicles before driving off, making enough noise to draw attention to himself and send Jones down to the street where he finds the discarded blunt and recognizes it immediately as an “exclusive” strain of his own product, one that he has supplied to a single dealer in L.A., the perpetually-stoned Saul Silver (James Franco; Spiderman 3). Oddly enough, that’s exactly where Dale heads after seeing the murder, and it doesn’t take him long to figure out that Jones is on to him, which sends both of the dopey dope-heads on the run from Jones and his goons.

Throughout their adventures Saul and Dale keep encountering a low-level mobster by the name of Red (Danny R. McBride; Drillbit Taylor). McBride shamelessly steals every scene he is in, and it is a wonder that co-writer Rogen (along with Judd Apatow; Don't Mess with the Zohan, and Evan Goldberg; Superbad) lets him have all the good lines, but this is definitely a breakout role for McBride just as ‘Ben’ in Knocked Up was for Rogen. Together, the trio of Dale, Saul, and Red are like lightning in a bottle. No matter what they are doing or not doing, when these three are on-screen at the same time there is no chance of not laughing. They are a modern day Three Stooges.

Pineapple Express may be dismissed by many as Generation Y’s version of Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke, but this is so much more. A mixture of comedy and action, packed with violence that is as much the reason for the film’s ‘R’ rating as the drug references and use, it rocks with jokes and bullets from beginning to end. Do you need to be a stoner to enjoy Pineapple Express? Absolutely not, but if you are you may find the final third of the movie something to drool over. And who knows, maybe in another 30 years, you can drool over it again while you watch it on tv with your grandchildren on the History Channel.

No comments: