Blunt humor

Seth Rogen passes the doobie; hilarity—and violence—ensue.

Rated 4.0

As far as stoner flicks are concerned, the general formula includes two dudes with a bunch of pot (or in search of some) getting mixed up in some shenanigans, and then making their way out of said shenanigans. Insert weed jokes whenever applicable.

Pineapple Express follows the formula, but throws in bits and pieces from the buddy-action genre to spice things up. So what we have here is half-stoner, half-action flick. The result is nothing short of hilarious.

Seth Rogen stars as Dale Denton, a slovenly process server who likes to take a few tokes before donning disguises for those who must be served. While out on the job one night, ready to serve Ted Jones (Gary Cole), Dale witnesses a police woman (Rosie Perez) murdering a man at Ted’s house. Dale flees, but seeing as he’s in the middle of smoking the new Pinapple Express weed his dealer, Saul (a delightfully out-of-character James Franco), just sold him, he doesn’t leave quietly.

Dale enlists Saul’s help, and the two hit the road when they realize Ted, also one of the biggest drug dealers in town, might be able to track them down by the smoking roach Dale left outside his house.

Hilarity—and violence—ensue, as the new stoner buddies try to evade capture. (A car chase in which Saul tries to kick out a broken windshield is particularly funny.)

Franco and Rogen make a great comic pair. And while Rogen sort of plays his same-old spacey self, Franco breaks out of his clean-cut mold to play a very convincing pot dealer, showing off a big, dumb grin to match his long hair and Guatamala pants.

The movie is nothing if not surprising. As soon as your eyes start to glaze over in an “I love you, man” moment, somebody is getting his ear shot off, and the adrenaline starts pumping.

The violence might seem unnecessary, but the part I really couldn’t swallow was Dale’s hot high school girlfriend. The whole plotline about her and her parents is not only ludicrous, but weird. Instead of thinking of Dale as this painfully average guy, you think of him as a borderline child molester.

Unnecessary moments aside, the film is the funniest to come out since the last Harold and Kumar. And I’d be surprised if there isn’t a sequel.