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Pineapple Express (AF)


Stars: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez, Danny McBride, Kevin Corrigan, Craig Robinson, Amber Heard, Ed Begley Jr, Nora Nunn, Bobby Lee, James Remar, Bill Hader

Director: David Gordon Green

This unabashedly drugs-driven comic assault on good taste from star and co-writer Rogen (with Evan Goldberg) and producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Superbad) irresistibly reminded me of my time working in Trinidad where, with little else to do in the evenings, I went to the movies every night. Most cinemas opened in the afternoon. By the time I went at around eight, the air was already thick with heady fumes of pot being enthusiastically smoked by large segments of the audience. As a result I found myself enjoying every single film I saw in Port of Spain – even The Christine Keeler Story and Zorba the Greek.

All of which is simply a preamble to explain why I laughed loud and often at the zany misadventures of drugged-up dealer Rogen and his equally high supplier Franco as they go on the run from a horde of hoods after Rogen witnesses the murder of a Chinese druglord. The daffy duo – think Stan and Ollie or Bud and Lou on pot – appear to be as contentedly narcotic-befuddled throughout their crass comic capers and hearty slapstick sequences as though they had just left an all-night screening in Trinidad.

This is a loud, lewd lad’s movie with enough four-letter words to bring a blush to the cheek of even a Channel 4 commissioning editor and with few redeeming moral subtexts (apart from the really bad guys finally paying for their sins). But if, like me, you get pleasure from barmy buddy movies saturated with childish slapstick and seriously silly into the bargain, then, with Rogen and Franco both on perfect comic form and with a splendidly enthusiastic supporting cast, along with disgustingly droll dialogue that’s unrepeatable except at a stag party, Pineapple Express provides it. I admit it – I’m ashamed to say really I enjoyed it. Disgraceful – and disgracefully funny too.

Alan Frank

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Sony. Colour.
111 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 07 Sep 2008