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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Pineapple Express (review)

Here’s yet another excellent argument for the legalization of marijuana. No, not that “it makes shitty movies better,” a “joke” this lazy stoner “comedy” deploys before you can, but that it will prevent us seeing more movies like this one, fetishizing pot and its users as anticonformist outlaws. Imagine if an entire genre of film depicted people who drink alcohol as rebels striking a blow against The Man — it’d be absurd, wouldn’t it? So why should we have to endure the tedious spectacle of Seth Rogen (Step Brothers) enjoying his life of pot-smoking lassitude… at least until he witnesses the opening salvo in a new war between rival dealers and has to go on the run with his own dealer (James Franco: Spider-Man 3)? Now, I think it’s supposed to be funny, the idea of violent pot dealers, of warring gangs of weed pushers, but it probably helps to actually be stoned while watching this to appreciate that. In fact, I wonder if the writers — Rogen, Judd Apatow, and Evan Goldberg — were high themselves when they wrote this, because a major instance of cause and effect is reversed early in the film, not that there’s much a plot to start with, but it kind of ensures that nothing hangs together here, storywise. Also, they stole the bit with the police car from their own Superbad. There are a few amusing moments from Franco — because, you know, he’s an actual actor creating an actual character, while it seems that Rogen can’t even convincingly play himself — but I’m clearly missing the gene needed to get a kick out of a movie the grand theme of which is, “It’s sad when you fall out with your drug dealer; it’s so rare that dealers and buyers can be friends, so you should cherish it — don’t throw it away, man.”

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MPAA: rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual references and violence

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb

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