Pineapple Express: All Aboard?

No. The movie is not about a train or about a terrorist attack while travelling or about finding love in train.  This movie with a weird name like Pineapple Express is about weed and many druggies.

A secret mission is unveiled in a black and white montage.  One ignorant fool might think ‘Well this movie is a thriller’. Sit with rapt attention while you watch Private Miller being questioned the effects of a certain Item 9. The mood is serious and deadly. However, as one hears Miller lash out against his superiors in a spit filled mouthed musical while smoking on Item 9, the seriousness is overthrown by a fit of laughter.  Item 9 as is described by Private Miller as something which gives one a feeling of being ‘a slice of butter melting on top of a big  ol’  a pile of slapjacks’. Consequently the secret mission is shut down and Item 9  is deemed  illegal.  With such a beginning,  one  is all set to roll about with laughter.

Cut back to the present, aboard the Pineapple Express is the process server – Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) who has a penchant for the radio apart from weed, his girlfriend  and  well more weed. He lives in his car as thorough out the movie he is shown to have no accommodation outside other than his vehicle.  It is absolutely amazing to see how Dale, under the influence of weed, executes his thankless and often  abused  job with a certain expertise. The director however does not  concentrate on why Dale does drugs, or what compelled him to do so. He simply does.  As a character , Dale does not seek sympathy and does not receive any.

Saul Silver( James Franco)is the drug supplier and druggie who befriends Dale Denton.  He does not have any other job than to sell weed. He justifies his profession by saying that he needs to fend for his grandmother who he affectionately calls Bubbie. James Franco plays his part of a person consistently in a trance, to the hilt.

There are amazing moments in the movie like when Dale and Saul become friends and  Saul introduces the “Dopest dope you have ever doped”. Saul’s explanation of  what Pineapple Express actually is, is hilarious.

The movie spans just two days and transports one into the lives of an ordinary individual who  indulges in  drugs on a regular basis. The seemingly normal  plot takes a turn when Dale Denton  has to serve a subpoena  to a certain Ted Jones(Gary Cole). Whilst near the individuals home,  he  witnesses a murder with a female police officer Carol Brazier (Rosie Perez) too involved in it .

Dale escapes the murder scene with great difficulty but not without leaving a clue- a roach of Pineapple Express.  That would not have been much of a problem. However since it is Ted Jones’ house  who is  a drug lord, the sole supplier of Pineapple Express who  sold it exclusively  to Red (Danny McBride) the  other drug supplier and middleman between Ted and Saul who in turn supplied it to Saul from whom only Dale purchased.

Will Ted connect the dots? With the police  being involved in the murder, Dale has no choice but to re-trace his steps to Saul and try to protect both of them  Angie( Amber Heard ) his girlfriend and her family and Bubbie from being possibly caught and killed by Ted.

At the beginning of the long drawn chase, Dale and Saul leave Saul’s apartment and find themselves in the woods at night. With them hearing and seeing things at night, it’s hilarious to see them running away from no one in particular.  Ted hires two goons to hunt Dale and Saul who have many run-ins with each other.

The final face-off takes place in Ted’s lair, a barn and underground space where pot is grown which is the same place that was earlier used by the Army for special projects. Here, Ted does not only have to deal with Dale Denton but also the Asian gang who is threatening his position as drug lord.

The movie is filled with humor and a lot of killing, shooting, gun fights . The fight for power between  Ted Jones and the Asian Drug lord eventually leads in mass murder. To say that the director, David Gorden Green has kept the overall effect of the movie light and simple would be an understatement. The movie has drugs, murder, extortion, killings, fire, car chases and bombs all within the frame of humor .

The movie does not appeal for sympathy nor does it compel you to stay away from drugs. It does not provide a social message and is intended solely for enjoyment purposes. It could be relegated into the genre of dark humor. The are some major loopholes in the film which are too obvious not to be noticed, but the humor too is undeniable.  Seemingly intelligent lines that actually make no sense form the crux of this comedy. James Franco or Saul , the recipient of such wonderful lines won a golden globe nomination for the act.

Chriselle Fernandes

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