Pineapple Express, 2/5

Rated R. Click here to view the trailer.

I think my problem with Pineapple Express was that I wasn’t high when I saw it.

There were some laughs in opening scenes as Seth Rogen’s dope smoking, process server, Dale, rocks out to Electric Avenue and there are some laughs in the closing scenes as a trio of stoners (only two of them wearing pants) eat enjoy their Grand Slams at Denny’s. Other than that, you’d have to be more than half-baked to enjoy this odd little buddy comedy/“stoner-action” flick.

Dale scores some primo bud (can you tell I’m not used to the hip weed lingo?) called Pineapple Express (Hey! That’s the name of the movie!) from his dealer Saul (a spaced out James Franco) and tokes up on his way to serve Ted (a strangely unfunny Gary Cole). Unfortunately for Dale, the man he is supposed to serve is also the marijuana King Pin responsible for Pineapple Express. Even more unfortunately for Dale, Ted, along with the bizarrely miscast Rosie Perez as “Lady Cop,” kill a rival drug dealer in plain view of our “hero.”

He of course freaks out, and drives away, but not before he tosses his joint out the window, a joint Ted immediately finds and smokes it (because that’s what you do with joints you find in the street: you smoke them) and realizes that the witness must be connected to Saul.

There are also two subplots: a creepy one involving Dale’s high school girlfriend; and a stupid one involving an Asian drug cartel made up entirely (of course) of ninjas.

Hilarity ensues.

Wait, no, it doesn’t.

There is some pretty major violence going on though. People’s ears get shot off, innocent bystanders die, kids do drugs and one hit man gets crushed by a Daewoo Lanos.

Another dealer, Red (a semi-funny Danny McBride), gets shot at least seven times but is in no hurry to get to the hospital.

Let’s be honest folks. Can we all agree that we’re getting tired of Seth Rogen? He was funny and fresh in The 40-year-old Virgin, was oddly charming in Knocked Up and was good for a few laughs in Superbad but now he’s just wearing out his welcome. Rogen wrote Pineapple Express and Superbad in high school while he was high. In this movie, you can tell. Here he tries to create a modern day Cheech and Chong movie and he succeeds. Of course, I didn’t laugh very much at their movies, either. Heck, at least Harold and Kumar 2 had Neil Patrick Harris going for it!

The same criticism is true for producer Judd Apatow. Either evolve as a filmmaker, or at least give us more than a month between your offerings (Step Brothers).

James Franco has been getting a lot of buzz for his take on the blitzed-out-of-his mind pot dealer, but I really didn’t think he was that over the top or funny. Although, I will say he was infinitely more watchable here than in the Spider-Man movies. Mostly I just thought, “Wow, he must smell awful.”

As previously mentioned, Cole and Perez are both miscast and Danny McBride, while funny, was just kinda odd and out of place.

My solution? Either be half baked when you watch it, or rent Half Baked instead.

Remember kids, in the wise words of the cast of Saved By the Bell: There’s nope hope with dope.

Oh, and crack is whack.

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