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Pineapple Express (2008) is an American comedy film directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Rogen and James Franco with cameo appearances by Bill Hader, Ed Begley, Jr. and James Remar. Producer Judd Apatow, who previously worked with Rogen and Goldberg on Knocked Up and Superbad, assisted in developing the story, which was partially inspired by the buddy comedy subgenre.
Dale (Rogen) is a 25-year-old process server who, in delivering a subpoena to drug lord Ted Jones, witnesses a murder perpetrated by Jones and his girlfriend, a corrupt cop. Dale panics and flees the scene, in his haste dropping a roach containing a rare strain of marijuana known as Pineapple Express - a strain that Ted knows he has sold only to Dale's dealer. Now, on the run from Ted's people and the cops alike, Dale and his dealer know all too well that this is more than weed-induced paranoia - everyone apparently is out to get them both.
Pineapple Express contains examples of:
- Alliterative Name: The two main characters? Dale Denton and Saul Silver.
- All Asians Are Alike: "He's in a big war with the Asians." "Asians? What kind of Asians? Indians are technically Asian." "I don't know, man! Asians!"
- Air Vent Passageway: Subverted. Saul manages to get in the vent but can't pull Dale up with him.
- Brick Joke: Dale finally ends up serving Ted his subpoena (to his mangled corpse), which was the whole reason Dale ended up outside Ted's house in the first place.
Dale: "Sorry, Ted. You've been served."
- Car Fu: "You just got killed by a Daewoo Lanos, motherfucker!"
- The Chew Toy: Red.
- Coming of Age Story
- Crowning Music of Awesome (Film): The red band trailer was easily the best use of MIA's "Paper Planes" of 2008.
- The trailers essentially propelled the song and M.I.A. herself to new popularity heights in the United States.
- Die Hard if Everyone got Stoned
- Directing Against Type: Before this film, David Gordon Green directed arthouse dramas with small budgets (and even smaller grosses). This film became the turning point in his career; every film he makes afterward is a comedy.
- Dirty Cop: Carol.
- The Dragon: Carol to Ted.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The three protagonists by the end.
- Fun T-Shirt: A shirt featuring a picture of a shark eating a kitten.
- Greasy Spoon: The protagonists go here after the story concludes to recap what the hell happened to them up to then.
- Groin Attack: A rare female variant.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: In a rare threesome, Dale, Saul, and Red.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: There are at least half a dozen cast members that should inspire this if you've seen enough Judd Apatow movies, but did anyone else notice that the Evil Drug Lord in this thing is Bill friggin' Lumbergh?
- I didn't know Uncle Eddie was a hitman.
- Ho Yay (Film): Dale, Saul and Red, in a subtext three-way.
- "I wanna be inside you, homes!"
- Also, Matheson towards Saul. "You need to sit your little sexy ass down and watch yourself get killed now!"
- "I wanna be inside you, homes!"
- Improvised Weapon: An ashtray, a dust-buster, a water pipe...
- Subverted in the climax, where it turns out that fluorescent lightbulbs are terrible weapons.
- Indecisive Parody
- Line-of-Sight Name:
Dale: "Go to the Days Inn downtown. Use a fake name." (Looks around garage.) "Garagely!"
- Lock and Load Montage: Two near the end. One in Red's house when he decides to help Dale ("Thug life!") and a second in the underground grow farm after they escape the room and find some guns.
- Made of Iron: Red, all the way
- Magic Bullets
- Mistaken for Badass: Everything Dale and Saul do after escaping the murder scene is interpreted by Ted as the actions of top-shelf agents working for the Triads. They really aren't.
Ted: "He shot Pete? Pete was ex-CIA."
Carol: "Who is this Dale Denton?"
- Only a Flesh Wound: Red gets shot multiple times throughout the movie and barely manages to make it out of an exploding farm and yet is only slightly tired by the end. The other characters note the damage he's suffered so far and decide to drop him off at a hospital at the end.
- Master of Disguise: Dale uses a bunch of these to serve his subpoenas.
- Mixed Martial Arts: Dale's girlfriend Angie has her motel television tuned to a UFC fight in the foreground as they discuss their relationship over the phone.
- Punch Clock Villain: Budlofsky keeps talking about needing to get home to eat dinner with his wife and is eventually shot by Matheson for choosing to go home instead of shooting Saul.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Immediately after the action spectacular climax, the heroes go to a diner and talk about all the amazing things they just did.
- Sassy Black Woman
- Scary Black Man: Subverted by Matheson who is very much in touch with his feelings. It doesn't stop him from being a psychopath, though.
- Sex Is Interesting: Dale's girlfriend seems to be under the impression that she's a mature, interesting person because she's had sex with seventeen different guys (Director's Cut only). Any idea the audience may have had that this could be true evaporates when she actually tries to use this as an argument.
- Slo-Mo Big Air: Dale and Saul in a stolen police car with a windscreen covered in red Slushee.
- Spiritual Successor: To Superbad.
- Stoner Flick: Subverted - After a certain point Dale says he has to stop smoking weed due to the fact everything that went wrong in the movie is because of him smoking weed. The movie itself is almost a mix of pro- and anti-pot film.
"We aren't very effective when we're stoned - which is all the fucking time.
Dale: I'm sorry, that sounded really mean... just to hear that, that sounded really mean.
Saul: No, I see. The monkey's out of the bottle now!
Dale: What? That's not even... a figure of speech.
Saul: Pandora can't go back into the box - he only comes out.
Saul: "Oh sick! You threw up in my printer."
- Wall of Weapons: Red has a literal wall of weapons.
- Where Are They Now? Epilogue: Subverted and lampshaded. During the movie, Dale talks about how he would like to be on the radio. After the climax, we hear Dale, off-screen, doing a very radio-esque announcer-voice. Which turns out to be in a diner, shortly after the climax, where the guys are having a celebratory breakfast, while Dale is demonstrating his radio-voice.