The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

‘Pineapple Express’ proves one wild ride

From “Dazed and Confused” to “Harold and Kumar,” stoner films reside in a subgenre that usually fails to break through to mainstream audiences. The majority of moviegoers watching these films guffaw at jokes whose punchlines appeal mainly only to potheads. However, co-writer, producer and comedic mastermind Judd Apatow has crafted a stoner film that you don’t have to know how to roll a joint or use a bong to thoroughly enjoy.

In “Pineapple Express,” Seth Rogen (“Knocked Up,” “Superbad”) and James Franco (“Spider-Man”) star as a deadbeat stoner and his equally sorry pot dealer.

The plot of the film is rather ridiculous, but it’s expected from Apatow, who has satisfied audiences with films about 40-year-old virgins and foul-mouthed high school romantics.

Once again Rogen has been enlisted as the lazy, pot smoking loser similar to that of “Knocked Up,” a role he seems extremely comfortable portraying. This time around, Rogen accidently witnesses a murder while he’s in his car smoking the rarest strain of marijuana in the world. Rogen panics and throws his joint out the window, which gives the murderers (Gary Cole and Rosie Perez) a way to chase after both him and Franco (the only person in the city they know has the dope). It sounds silly and downright stupid, yes, but it makes for a terrific comedy.

The basic plot leads to a whole lot of explosions, car chases and belly laughs in this stoner-turned-action movie. The movie is full of enough pop culture references and allusions to action movies of the past two decades to make one’s head spin.

Rogen and Franco’s attempt to elude Cole and Perez is downright hilarious at times, as the film echoes the formula of Apatow’s other recent comedic gems. However, never does it feel like a rehashed “Knocked Up” or “Superbad.”

All of Apatow’s films follow the same formula of situational comedy and crude humor, but each feels completely unique. Take away all the dirty jokes and shock-value humor, and there’s still a quality film. “Pineapple Express” is no different.

As the movie progresses, the relationship between Rogen and Franco turns into an almost-romantic bond, something we’ve seen before in Apatow’s “Superbad.” The similarity might have something to with the film’s writing team. Rogen and Evan Goldberg penned both “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express.”

The duos in both movies are completely different, but there’s that underlying, almost homosexual tension that makes itself more apparent as the film progresses. It even culminates in a raunchy sex-like encounter as Rogen and Franco attempt to escape Cole’s clutches. Yes, it’s really weird, but in this high-brow comedy, it just makes for an even funnier moment and overall movie.

Rogen and Franco make a good on-screen pair, but this isn’t the first time they’ve starred together. Both played characters on Apatow’s short-lived television comedy from the ’90s, “Freaks and Geeks.” Apatow’s best films have used the cast of “Freaks and Geeks,” and this latest entry leads one to wonder why he didn’t enlist Franco a lot sooner.

“Pineapple Express” is a great addition to Apatow’s repertoire of comedies. It is easily the funniest film of the summer and a must-see for anyone seeking a good laugh, or just a good time at the movies.

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