September 14, 2008

Cinema: Stoner Comedy Goes Up in Smoke

By Roz Laws

Stoner comedy goes up in smoke


WRITER/producer/director Judd Apatow has been involved in no fewer than NINE films in the last two years.

I suggest he concentrate on making fewer films, better.

His latest lame effort stars his old Knocked Up buddy Seth Rogen as process server and pothead Dale Denton, who's dating high school student Amber Heard.

Pineapple Express is a special strain of cannabis, "so rare it's almost a shame to smoke it - it's like killing a unicorn". His drug dealer Saul (likeable James Franco, pictured) is the only one selling it, so when Dale drops a joint at the scene of a crime, it's traced back to him.

That's a shame, as the crime Dale witnesses is drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole) shooting dead a rival with the help of bent cop Rosie Perez.

He and Saul go on the run as the film lurches into an action movie, complete with car chases, fights and a couple of decent explosions.

But it's slow and poorly-paced, its two-hour length really drags, and I didn't laugh once.

The main problem is that stoned people are only funny to themselves. At one point Dale says that smoking weed makes everything better, even "sh*tty movies", but I don't think it would work with this film. A wasted effort in more ways than one.

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