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Film / Pineapple Express

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Pineapple Express (2008) is an American action 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."
  • Ambiguously Gay: Matheson. While he’s very much a dangerous thug, he has moments of effeminacy and seems to find Saul attractive if telling him to sit his “sexy ass” down is any indication.
  • 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 a 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 Red.
  • 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."
  • 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: Red, after initially opting not to take part in the big final confrontation, returns to the scene after all and runs over Matheson just before Matheson can kill Saul.
  • 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 is constantly being injured and embarrassed.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: It's a given for a Seth Rogen film.
  • 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 just being a childish 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.
  • 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. The Triad's brains get blown out right against a large glass window, but there's no sign of the bullets doing damage to the windows themselves.
  • 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’.
  • Distracted from Death: Subverted in the film's final scene. Red, who has been wounded multiple times and should by all rights either be dead or dying, suddenly closes his eyes and goes limp while Saul and Dale are talking and they don't notice at first. When they do notice, they try to get him to wake up... and he does. Apparently sheer exhaustion momentarily made him pass out.
  • Epic Fail: Saul tries to shoot Carol with a machine gun and a "Fuck the Police!" line, but doesn’t lay a single bullet into her since he fired it wrong.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Ted and Carol are murderous criminals, but they also genuinely care about each other.
    • Budlofsky is ruthless killer, but he has a family that he cares deeply about, and he's becoming increasingly resentful of his work life keeping him from seeing or spending time with his family.
    • The Triad that Dale sees Ted kill has a brother who is part of the same criminal organization. When Cheung, the leader of the Triads decides that it's time to attack Ted's organization, he reassures the surviving brother that "Your brother's death will not be in vain."
  • Eviler than Thou: Matheson and Budlofsky are two of the top soldiers of Ted's cartel and spend most of the movie taking turns being the eviller one or the one with more standards. At the climax Matheson definitively claims the spot of being the more evil one. Budlofsky, who is a family man and hates how little time he gets to spend with his family due to the demands of his job, has finally had enough and when he sees that Ted's empire is collapsing, Budlofsky refuses to shoot Saul, saying that he is going to go home and finally have dinner with his family. Matheson responds by instantly shooting his old friend dead and saying that Budlofsky had gotten too soft.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Ted vs the Triads.
  • Fair Cop: Carol is played by Rosie Perez, and when he first sees her Dale comments on her being quite an attractive woman.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The three protagonists by the end.
  • Foreshadowing: During Red's interrogation, he mentions Ted Jones having a hideout and that it's pretty awesome. Said hideout turns out to be a barn with a hole that leads into a weed farm that was once the military lab from the prologue.
  • Fun T-Shirt: A shirt featuring a picture of a shark eating a kitten.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: It's implied that Ted tends to use a little too much of his own product, and that it's undermining his ability to function and keep a grip on his criminal empire.
  • 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. Saul kicks Carol between the legs at one point during their fight, and while it does hurt her, it's not incapacitating until Saul immediately uppercuts her.
    • 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 handed this whole mess off to a more competent cop who was already suspicious of Carol if not for Saul inserting himself in the situation. At the climax, it's even more about Dale saving Saul while they are in the crossfire of Ted's climactic confrontation with the Triads. All of the action is played straight, though, and they bring about Ted's downfall.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: This is Carol's reaction to Ted turning a phone call with the leader of the Triads (a phone call where he was supposed to be negotiating a truce between the two syndicates), into a declaration of war and telling the Triads to Bring It.
  • Informed Attribute: Budlofsky and Matheson are said to be the best men Ted has, yet when they burst into Saul's apartment and find a still-smoking joint, Matheson chooses to sit down and smoke it and Budlofsky calls his wife instead of the both of them going after Saul and Dale even though a still-smoking joint would indicate they're pretty close by. Heck, they only catch Saul through dumb luck because he just so happened to show up at the same place they were.
  • 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
  • Master of Disguise: Dale uses a bunch of these to serve his subpoenas.
  • Mistaken for Badass: In part due to Ted's lack of attention to detail and implied drug use, everything Dale does after escaping the murder scene is interpreted by Ted as the actions of a top-shelf agent working for the Triads.
    Ted: "He shot Pete? Pete was ex-CIA."
    Carol: "Who is this Dale Denton?"
  • Mutual Kill: In the climactic shootout, Ted's goons and the Triads attacking them frequently kill each other at the same time.
  • 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 a member of Ted's cartel named Pete hostage, Budlofsky quickly shoots and kills Pete himself to save time.
  • One Last Job: Carol tells Ted that after the final confrontation with Ted's Asian competitors, she's moving on and leaving the business. It turns out that even a Dirty Cop is susceptible to Retirony.
  • 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.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Carol is this for Ted's organization, being the only one who isn't incompetent, caught up in comedic squabbles, or getting too high to function.
    • Dale tries to be this among the protagonists, but it really just means he's slightly less crazy and hapless compared to Saul and Red.
  • 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 fellow hitman Budlofsky, to the point that he shoots the latter when he says he's done killing people and all he wants to do is go to his home and have dinner with his family, and then calls him out for "having gone soft".
    • Carol is a Killer 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.
  • 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 and a bit sharper than Saul and Red.
  • 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!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Matheson's reaction to a car smashing through a wall and barreling right towards him? Scream at it until it hits and kills him instead of ducking or screaming AND ducking. Even screaming, THEN ducking has a chance.
  • Two-Faced: Matheson after Saul hits him in the face with a coffee pot that was half full of hot coffee.
  • 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 to her and was trying to enlist her help to take down Ted and Carol.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Subverted. Ted initially seems like the sort of serious, murderous, and competent villain that serves as a contrast with hapless, comedic heroes... but after his first scene the film shows that he's not nearly as competent or in control as he seems.
  • 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.
  • Wimp Fight: Zig-zagged when Dale and Saul fight Red. All three are seriously trying to hurt each other, but have absolutely no fighting skills, are high off their minds, and are still somewhat friendly throughout.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Saul assumes Ted and his minions have a Rancor waiting for him, but it turns out to be the same military lab from the prologue now converted into a weed growing farm.


Video Example(s):



After a "spectacular" show of a person under the influence of Item 9, aka weed, General Brat delivers his final conclusion on it...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

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