REVIEW: PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

CAST

Seth Rogen (50/50)
James Franco (Spring Breakers)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
Kevin Corrigan (The Get Down)
Craig Robinson (This Is the End)
Gary Cole (Office Space)
Rosie Perez (The Other Guys)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica mars)
Nora Dunn (2 Broke Girls)
Amber Heard (Zombieland)
Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad)
Cleo King (Mike & Moly)
Bill Hader (Power Rangers)
James Remar (Gotham)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)

In 1937, a military facility is on watch behind a two-way mirror as a soldier, smoking marijuana, begins to reveal very graphically what he hates about the army, but still remains euphoric. A high-ranking officer immediately closes the project and deems marijuana illegal. Seventy years later, Dale Denton, a 25-year-old process server and habitual marijuana smoker, makes a visit to the home of his drug dealer, Saul Silver, to buy marijuana. Saul tells him that he may already know the identity of Dale’s next customer, Ted Jones. Dale drives to Ted’s house and witnesses Ted and a police officer, Officer Carol Brazier, shoot a man to death. Dale panics and flees the area, but leaves his roach at the scene, which contains a rare strain of marijuana called Pineapple Express. Ted is able to identify the strain and sends his two henchmen, Budlofsky and Matheson to a dealer, Red, who tells them that he has only sold the pot to Saul.

Dale flees to Saul’s apartment and learns that Ted is a dangerous drug lord and could trace the roach back to Saul. Dale and Saul flee into the nearby woods while Ted’s henchmen persuade Red to arrange a meeting with Saul. They accidentally fall asleep in Dale’s car and wake up to find that they missed their meeting with Red. They leave the woods and arrive at Red’s house, hoping to determine whether Ted has linked them with the Pineapple Express. Red says Ted isn’t after them but Dale realizes that he’s lying, and starts a fight that results in Red getting knocked out. They wake Red and question him until he reveals that Ted has discovered who they are and is going to kill them. Dale and Saul decide that they must leave the city.

In order to leave town, Dale and Saul sell some Pineapple Express to raise bus fare. However, a police officer named Barber sees Dale and arrests him for selling marijuana. In the back of the cruiser, Dale tries to convince Barber that Brazier is corrupt and tells her that he witnessed her and Ted murder a man. Barber recognizes Brazier and promises him that she will investigate her soon since Barber had been long suspicious of Brazier’s corruption. However, Saul leaps out in front of the police car and hijacks it thinking that Brazier is the one driving. Brazier hears a police radio call of Dale’s arrest and pursues Dale and Saul in a high-speed chase but they manage to escape. After an argument with each other about the situation they are in, Dale and Saul go their separate ways. Saul visits his grandmother in an assisted living home, but is kidnapped and held hostage in Ted’s lair beneath a barn. Dale enlists Red to help him rescue Saul but Red unexpectedly backs out at the last minute and Dale is captured. While Dale and Saul are held hostage, they reconcile with each other and make plans to escape.

Suddenly, Asian mobsters attack the barn to avenge a fellow gangster’s death at the hands of Ted and Officer Brazier (the same murder that Dale witnessed). Dale and Saul finally free themselves but are caught by Matheson. Matheson grazes Dale’s ear with a gunshot but is disarmed and shot by Saul. Dale and Saul join the fight and a brawl ensues between Dale and Ted. When Budlofsky refuses to kill Saul, Matheson emerges from the lair and shoots him in the chest, killing him. He turns around to kill Saul but Red drives through the barn and saves Saul by hitting Matheson with his car. Red is then seemingly shot to death by Brazier. One of the mobsters activate a bomb, resulting in Ted’s death, and setting fire to the barn. When Red’s car explodes, it flips over and lands on Brazier, killing her. The explosion incapacitates Saul but Dale finds him and carries him out of the burning barn. Red, wounded but still alive, also escapes and reconciles with them. Afterwards they eat breakfast at a diner and talk about their adventure before Saul’s grandmother picks them up and takes them to the hospital.

There are a lot of reasons why Pineapple Expresswon’t work for many people, and they will probably end up being the very reasons the film works for those who like it. The film’s plot is inherently silly to an extent and one must be prepared for an outright comedy and not something in the vein of Knocked Up. Pineapple Express may end up being more enjoyable for stoners and those with friends who are stoners, but it works on its own as great comedy because the humor has much more range and scope than just marijuana. One of the best comedies in years.

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REVIEW: THE OTHER GUYS

CAST

Will Ferrell (Anchorman)
Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Ray Stevenson (Punsiher Warzone)
Samuel L. Jackson (Iron Man)
Dwayne Johnson (Walking Tall)
Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Zoe-Lister Jones (Salt)
Lindsay Sloane (Bring It On)
Brooke Shields (The Blue Lagoon)
Rosie Perez (White Men Can’t Jump)
Ice-T (Tank Girl)
Tracy Morgan (Little Man)
Anne Heche (Spread)
Zak Orth (Wet Hot American Summer)

Detective Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) is a mild-mannered forensic accountant and was a pimp in the past. Hot-tempered detective Terry “Yankee Clipper” Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) has been partnered with Allen ever since he mistakenly shot Derek Jeter during the World Series. Allen and Terry receive no respect from the other officers, particularly detectives Martin (Rob Riggle) and Fosse (Damon Wayans, Jr.). All but Terry idolize cocky detectives Chris Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and P. K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson), who are considered the city’s best policemen even though they frequently cause millions of dollars in property damage catching petty criminals. During a pursuit, Danson and Highsmith leap to their deaths after misjudging their ability to survive a fall, which causes the precinct to wonder why they did it and who will take their place.

Allen and Terry investigate a scaffolding permit violation by multi-billionaire Sir David Ershon (Steve Coogan) but wind up uncovering a much bigger plot by Ershon to cover his losses to his client Lendl Global. Lendl CEO Pamela Boardman (Anne Heche) hires a team of mercenaries led by Roger Wesley (Ray Stevenson) to make sure Ershon pays her back. During their investigation, Allen confides in Terry about how he ran a college dating service in his past, though he denies that he was a pimp. When Allen’s life spiraled out of control, he was sent to the hospital where he met his future wife Sheila (Eva Mendes), and he promised Sheila that he would never get out of control again. When Sheila tells Allen that she is pregnant, Allen reverts to his old dark personality, and she kicks him out. Meanwhile, Terry unsuccessfully attempts to reconnect with his ex-fiancée Francine (Lindsay Sloane), who had walked out on him due to his temper.

Their investigation comes to a halt when Ershon’s attorney, Don Beaman (Andy Buckley), learns of Ershon’s plan to cover his losses, leading Wesley to kill him and make it look like a suicide. Angered at their lack of progress, Capt. Gene Mauch (Michael Keaton) splits up Allen and Terry, sending Terry to traffic duty and Allen to beat patrol. Despite Terry’s anger, Allen still works the case on his own. After Allen learns that Danson and Highsmith died investigating a staged theft during which Wesley broke into an accounting firm next door, he finds credible evidence and earns his gun back from Mauch. Allen then convinces Terry to rejoin him. They meet Capt. Mauch at Bed Bath & Beyond, his second job, where the police captain admits he has been holding off on the case because Ershon has high-profile connections that could ruin him, and he allows them to finish the case off-the-books.

They go to an investment meeting Ershon is having and realize that the $32 billion Ershon seeks is really coming from the New York Police Department pension fund. They escape with Ershon to his private apartment, and Ershon tells them that the money for the pension fund is already in his account, ready to be transferred. Later that night, Allen and Terry finally reconcile with their loved ones. Allen apologizes to Sheila with the help of her mother and she welcomes her husband back. Terry also apologizes to Francine for letting his anger rule his life.

The next morning, they drive to the bank to stop the transfer, evading Wesley’s team, groups of Chechen and Nigerian investors to whom Ershon owes money, and police officers who are told Allen and Terry have gone rogue. They reach the bank and halt the transfer. Wesley arrives, and as a delaying tactic, shoots both officers and Ershon in their arms. Mauch finally arrives with police backup, rescuing the two and arresting Ershon for his embezzlement, and Wesley for multiple counts of murder. Ershon’s arrest leads to a stock market crash and the subsequent federal bailout of Lendl Global. Terry marries Francine, and although he asks Sheila to be his best man, she declines. Sheila reunites with her husband. The narrator (Ice-T) finishes off by stating that the true heroes are the everyday people who work to make a difference, not the ones who appear in the newspaper or on TV.

This is a very funny film, with several very funny moments delivered by a series of excellent comedic acting performances. There will be the occasional “funny situation” that has you cringing, but bear with it and you’ll be laughing again in no time!