Pineapple Express (2008)

(In theaters, August 2008) Stoner comedies are not created equal, and if the idea of putting a weed-enjoying dude in a standard thriller plot worked well in The Big Lebowski, the makers of Pineapple Express seem to have indulged in soft drugs so often enough that they couldn’t be bothered to understand the genius of the Coen Brother’s film. Instead, we get repellent stoners stuck in a tale of violent drug dealing, filled with harsh language and gory violence that only serves to highlight the immaturity of the picture. The characters feel like kids playing around with dangerous toys, leading less to empathy than to feelings of pity toward the mentally retarded. The obvious counterargument is that you have to be under the influence to like this film, but think about it real hard: does it make sense to voluntarily diminish one’s mental capabilities in order to enjoy a film? More to the point, doesn’t it nullify whatever advantage this film may have over just about any of Hollywood’s dumbest films of late?

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