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The following things are guaranteed to happen when you go see a weed movie:
1. A group of 16-year-old turds will proclaim how "fucking ripped" they are loud enough to ensure that everyone hears.
2. Someone will cup their hand around their mouth and yell "daaaammnn!" the first time a character whips out some bud.
3. Your high will wear off well before the previews are over.
Chances are, however, that the aforementioned symptoms won't sully your viewing of dope opus Pineapple Express, David Gordon Green's paean to gratuitous action flicks and the burnouts who love them/wished they were in them. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad) have crafted a script that directs your attention onto the characters instead of the illicit cellophane-wrapped substance stuffed in their socks. Yes, it's a stoner flick, but rather than kowtow to the patently American genre, they've turned it on its haze-filled head by realizing that — whoa — many people don't find Cheech & Chong that funny.
Dale Denton (Rogen) ruins people's days for a living as an aloof process server, throwing on a menagerie of ridiculous disguises to infiltrate businesses and hit people with court papers. His need for a post-workday unwind leads him to PJ-pantsed superdealer Saul Silver, played by James Franco with surprising vim, all impenetrable vernacular, glassy-eyed inquisitions and robust chortles. The duo's early interactions will be a roar to anyone who's ever bought weed; the awkward, friendly-but-not-friends relationship between drugger and drugee — When can I leave? Am I obliged to stay? Is it chill if I bring X over? — has never been fully mined for its comic potential until now.
Dale gets hooked up with a sack of the titular herb, a strain that's so rare that Saul likens puffing it to "killing a unicorn." But after he witnesses a gangland slaying outside the home of kingpin Ted Jones (a sneering Gary Cole) — who happens to have the local Pineapple Express market cornered — paranoia kicks in, and Dale and Saul go on the run, a splendid militia of Judd Apatow associates (including a brilliant Danny R. McBride as middle-man Red) stumbling toward them from all directions.
Green (ha-ha ... green) doesn't have a whole lot to do considering the adept cast and script, but his clever treatment of shoot-'em-up tropes — shameless firefights, fistfights, car chases, and, of course, the ubiquitous gun-loading montage — makes things burn that much more evenly.