(2008) is an American comedy film directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Rogen and James Franco with cameo appearances by Bill Hader, Ed Begley, Jr. and James Remar. Producer Judd Apatow
, who previously worked with Rogen and Goldberg on Knocked Up
, assisted in developing the story, which was partially inspired by the buddy comedy subgenre.
Dale (Rogen) is a 25-year-old process server
who, in delivering a subpoena to drug lord Ted Jones, witnesses a murder perpetrated by Jones and his girlfriend, a corrupt cop. Dale panics and flees the scene, in his haste dropping a roach containing a rare strain of marijuana known as Pineapple Express
- a strain that Ted knows he has sold only to Dale's dealer. Now, on the run from Ted's people and the cops alike, Dale and his dealer know all too well that this is more than weed-induced paranoia - everyone apparently is out to get them both.
This film contains examples of:
- Alliterative Name: The two main characters? Dale Denton and Saul Silver.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Subverted. Saul manages to get in the vent but can't pull Dale up with him.
- Brick Joke: Dale finally ends up serving Ted his subpoena (to his mangled corpse), which was the whole reason Dale ended up outside Ted's house in the first place.
- Car Fu: "You just got killed by a Daewoo Lanos, motherfucker!"
- Changed My Mind, Kid: Red goes along with Dale to rescue Saul from Ted, but chickens out and leaves, only to come back just in time to save Saul from Matheson.
- The Chew Toy: Red.
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Co-Dragons: Carol, Budlofsky and Matheson all seem to be share the role as Ted's 2nd in command, though Carol is the one who he interacts with the most.
- Coming of Age Story
- Crowning Music of Awesome (Film): The red band trailer was easily the best use of MIA's "Paper Planes" of 2008.
- The trailers essentially propelled the song and M.I.A. herself to new popularity heights in the United States.
- Die Hard if Everyone got Stoned
- Directing Against Type: Before this film, David Gordon Green directed arthouse dramas with small budgets (and even smaller grosses). This film became the turning point in his career; every film he makes afterward is a comedy.
- Dirty Cop: Carol.
- Evil Versus Evil: Ted vs the Triads.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The three protagonists by the end.
- Fun T-Shirt: A shirt featuring a picture of a shark eating a kitten.
- Genre Savvy: Dale and Saul both correctly predict their enemies' moves ahead of time with the help of weed-fueled paranoia. This includes Dale guessing that Ted smoked his dropped roach and Saul predicting that their cellphones would be triangulated.
- Greasy Spoon: The protagonists go here after the story concludes to recap what the hell happened to them up to then.
- Groin Attack: A rare female variant.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: In a rare threesome, Dale, Saul, and Red.
- Ho Yay (Film): Dale, Saul and Red, in a subtext three-way.
- "I wanna be inside you, homes!"
- Also, Matheson towards Saul. "You need to sit your little sexy ass down and watch yourself get killed now!"
- Improvised Weapon: An ashtray, a dust-buster, a water pipe...
- Subverted in the climax, where it turns out that fluorescent lightbulbs are terrible weapons.
- Indecisive Parody
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: "He's in a big war with the Asians." "Asians? What kind of Asians? Indians are technically Asian." "I don't know, man! Asians!"
- Line-of-Sight Name:
Dale: "Go to the Days Inn downtown. Use a fake name." (Looks around garage.) "Garagely!"
- Lock and Load Montage: Two near the end. One in Red's house when he decides to help Dale ("Thug life!") and a second in the underground grow farm after they escape the room and find some guns.
- Made of Iron: Red, all the way
- Magic Bullets
- Mistaken for Badass: Everything Dale and Saul do after escaping the murder scene is interpreted by Ted as the actions of top-shelf agents working for the Triads. They really aren't.
"He shot Pete? Pete was ex-CIA
"Who is this Dale Denton?"
- Master of Disguise: Dale uses a bunch of these to serve his subpoenas.
- Mixed Martial Arts: Dale's girlfriend Angie has her motel television tuned to a UFC fight in the foreground as they discuss their relationship over the phone.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Red gets shot multiple times throughout the movie and barely manages to make it out of an exploding farm and yet is only slightly tired by the end. The other characters note the damage he's suffered so far and decide to drop him off at a hospital at the end.
- Punch Clock Villain: Budlofsky keeps talking about needing to get home to eat dinner with his wife and is eventually shot by Matheson for choosing to go home instead of shooting Saul.
- Rabid Cop: Carol.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Immediately after the action spectacular climax, the heroes go to a diner and talk about all the amazing things they just did.
- Sassy Black Woman: The cop who briefly arrests Dale.
- Scary Black Man: Subverted by Matheson who is very much in touch with his feelings. It doesn't stop him from being a psychopath, though.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the climax, Budlofsky, wounded during the big firefight, tiredly decides not to shoot Saul and just go home... and then Matheson shoots him for going soft.
- Sex Is Interesting: Dale's girlfriend seems to be under the impression that she's a mature, interesting person because she's had sex with seventeen different guys (Director's Cut only). Any idea the audience may have had that this could be true evaporates when she actually tries to use this as an argument.
- Shoot the Hostage: When Dale takes one of Ted's goons hostage, Budlofsky shoots him (to Matheson's anger) and then tells Ted that Dale did it.
- Slo-Mo Big Air: Dale and Saul in a stolen police car with a windscreen covered in red Slushee.
- Spiritual Successor: To Superbad.
- Stoner Flick: Subverted - After a certain point Dale says he has to stop smoking weed due to the fact everything that went wrong in the movie is because of him smoking weed. The movie itself is almost a mix of pro- and anti-pot film.
"We aren't very functional when we're stoned - which is all the fucking time."
- Straight Man: Dale is a little less stoned than the rest.
- Stoners Are Funny
- Those Two Bad Guys: Budlofsky & Matheson.
- Two-Face: Matheson after Saul hits him in the face with a coffee pot.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: All three of them. Red and Saul moreso.
- Unusual Euphemism:
Dale: I'm sorry, that sounded really mean... just to hear that, that sounded really mean.
Saul: No, I see. The monkey's out of the bottle now!
Dale: What? That's not even... a figure of speech.
Saul: Pandora can't go back into the box - he only comes out.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot:
Saul: "Oh sick! You threw up in my printer."
- Wall of Weapons: Red has a literal wall of weapons.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Subverted and lampshaded. During the movie, Dale talks about how he would like to be on the radio. After the climax, we hear Dale, off-screen, doing a very radio-esque announcer-voice. Which turns out to be in a diner, shortly after the climax, where the guys are having a celebratory breakfast, while Dale is demonstrating his radio-voice.