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Film / Pineapple Express

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Pineapple Express (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 and Superbad, 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 (Gary Cole), witnesses a murder perpetrated by Jones and his girlfriend Carol Brazier (Rosie Perez), 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 are Dale Denton and Saul Silver. Dale's girlfriend is named Angie Anderson.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Both Saul's name and the fact he calls his grandmother "Bubbie" point to this. Red even mentions to Budlovsky and Matheson that Denton "might have been a Jew."
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Subverted. Saul manages to get in the vent but can't pull Dale up with him.
  • Author Appeal: A plot centered around weed? In my Seth Rogen movie?
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: None of the three protagonists are saints, but the villains are definitely evil.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: When Matheson has Saul dead to rights at the climax, instead of shooting Saul immediately, he takes way too long savoring the moment, which leads to him being killed by Dale.
  • 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.
    Dale: "Sorry, Ted. You've been served."
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  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Dale's dismissiveness towards Angie's marriage proposal over the phone could be considered this. It's obvious that Dale's lifestyle is pretty dangerous and he doesn't want Angie's life to be ruined or get caught in the crossfire.
  • Butt-Monkey: Matheson becomes one in the latter half of the movie, starting with the coffee burn.
  • 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: Dale finally accepts that he can't go through life being just a stoner and mans up.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome (Film): The red band trailer was easily the best use of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" of 2008.
    • The trailers essentially propelled the song and M.I.A. herself to new popularity heights in the United States.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Most of the villains succumb to this.
  • Distant Prologue: The movie begins in the year 1937 where the military conducts a secret experiment on "Item 9" also known as the smoking pot before declaring it ‘Illegal’
  • Die Hard If Everyone Got Stoned: But of course!
  • Dirty Cop: Carol. Also a Killer Cop, as The Dragon to Ted.
  • Disappearing Bullets: When Ted executes the Triad member in his living room.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Matheson and Budlofsky are Those Two Bad Guys, two of the top soldiers of Ted's cartel, but Budlofsky is also a family man and is constantly calling them and hating the fact that the things he does for Ted cut into his time with them, a thing Matheson hates because, in his own words, Budlofsky was "cooler" before marrying. At the climax, Budlofsky has finally had enough and refuses to shoot Dale, saying that he is going to go home and have dinner with his family. Matheson instantly shoots him dead and tells the corpse that he's gotten too soft.
  • Evil vs. 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.
  • GPS Evidence: The Title Drop is a rare kind of marihuana that Ted has only sold to one dealer in the entire town — Saul. As a result, from a single roach Dale leaves behind, he is able to trace the protagonists within an hour.
  • Greasy Spoon: The protagonists go here after the story concludes to recap everything that has happened to them up to then.
  • Groin Attack: A rare female variant.
    • Ted whacks Dale in the crotch with a fire extinguisher.
  • 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. In the climax, flourescent lights turn out to be useless as weapons.
  • Indecisive Parody: A lot of the beats of the film, both funny and dramatic, come down to the fact that the heroes are a bunch of barely-functional stoners and have no damn place in the plot. Dale even lampshades it at one point, as well as berates Saul at another because they could have handled this whole mess to a more competent cop who was already suspicious of Carol if not for the fact Dale knocked her out. At the climax, it's even more about Dale saving Saul while they are in the crossfire of Ted's own climactic confrontation with the Triads. All of the action is played straight, though, and they bring Ted's downfall.
  • Insult Backfire: Saul not understanding Dale's sarcasm (here).
    Dale: "OK. Even if he found that roach, how could he know where you are ?"
    Saul: "Uuhm, heat-seeking missiles...uuhm, bloodhounds... foxes... barracudas."
    Dale: "I'm just, I'm kind of flabbergasted when you say things like that, it's weird."
    Saul: "Thank you."
    Dale: "Not a compliment!"
  • 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!" (Chinese Triads, by the way).
  • Jerkass: Working as a process server for courts is often seen as one of the bigger asshole jobs in America — as the second opening scene very much shows. And yet, Dale enjoys it just a bit too much. Almost to the point where he gets off on other people's misery when they hear the word "SUBPOENA."
  • Laughably Evil: While Ted, Carol and the rival Asian mob have their moments, the Co-Dragons Matheson and Budlofsky both take the cake, especially Matheson, thanks to his portrayer Craig Robinson's performance.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias:
    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. A significant chunk of the epilogue's Seinfeldian Conversation is the lampshading that he's hurt pretty bad, maybe he should be taken to a hospital, and it's hard to believe he's not dead yet.
  • 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.
    Ted: "He shot Pete? Pete was ex-CIA."
    Carol: "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.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Saul is a stoner with long hair, a headband and long sleeve t-shirt, and has a very laid-back demeanor.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Inverted. Dale complains Saul invoked this trope by stealing the police car from Officer Barber who could have exposed Carol as a murderer and drug dealer. Though Saul did more good than harm since Carol knew she was about to be exposed and went to go kill both Dale and Barber.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: When Dale takes Pete hostage, Budlofsky shoots Pete himself to save time.
  • 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.
  • Plot Hole: When Dale is being arrested by a liaison officer for selling weed to underage kids, she brings up his record and it contains a hit-and-run committed a couple of days ago. That was when Dale accidentally hit Carol's car while trying to flee after witnessing her and Ted murder one of the Asians. How the hell did that end up being on his record despite him not getting reported and arrested for it?
  • Psycho for Hire: Matheson is definitely crazier than Budlofsky, to the point that he shoots the latter when he says he's done shooting people and all he wants to do is go to his home and have dinner with his family, and then calling him "having gone soft". Carol is a Rabid Cop and is Ted's Dragon and girlfriend.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Budlofsky keeps complaining he wants to go home to eat dinner with his wife and is eventually shot by Matheson for choosing to go home instead of shooting Saul.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!
    Dale: "THIS! ENDS! NOOOOW!" (throws Red head-first into a wall)
  • Properly Paranoid: Dale may seem like he thinks people are out to get him and he can't be trusted because he's high off his ass. Problem is, he's right.
  • 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 and his actor's penchant for comedy makes him a Laughably Evil parody of this trope. 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.
  • Shout-Out: Dale lists becoming a fan of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Shins as one of the many ways Angie will change in college.
  • 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: Marijuana takes a major role in the film. The two main characters are both heavy stoners, and the villain is a pot dealer who identifies them because of the rare strain of pot they smoked. However, the characters do occasionally make reference to the fact that smoking pot isn't the best life choice to make.
    "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: The two main characters are bumbling stoners.
  • Styrofoam Rocks: Probably the part of the intro sequence that was the least played for laughs.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Saul, several times.
    • When parting from Dale (here).
    Saul: Why don't you supersize it, bitch?
    • When he's finally kidnapped by the bad guys.
    Saul: Professional on this, bitch!
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Budlofsky & Matheson.
  • Two-Faced: 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.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Saul hijacking the car of a policewoman who arrested Dale. Problem is, Dale had already explained his situation and Saul won't listen to the fact that she was trying to help Dale.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot:
    Saul: "Oh sick! You threw up in my printer."
  • Wall of Weapons: Red has a literal wall of weapons.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The cop who arrests Dale, listens to Dale's entire tirade about Carol, and says that she had been suspicious of Carol for some time now and swears she will look into this (and then is knocked out by Saul) is never seen again.
  • "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.


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