This is an endearingly slovenly, profane movie with bursts of startling violence, but it's all played for nyuk-nyuk laughs, and it has been directed with more care than it might initially appear by David Gordon Green.
This by turns inspired, goofy and finally weirdly hyper-violent celebration of male bonding and chronic Peter Panism joins such classics as Up in Smoke and the Harold & Kumar oeuvre in its sunny, raunchy acceptance of its own idiocy.
Apatow and Green are just throwing whatever they can at the screen, to see what will get either a laugh or a grimace. More likely the latter, since you'll likely leave the theatre wondering if you saw a comedy or a Sam Peckinpah movie.
The movie is so wayward and fuzzy that, for the unbaked, at least, there's very little pleasure to be had in trying to follow it. The thing is so desultory and aimless that it seems like work to try to laugh at it.
The movie's too long -- and the violence and mayhem are unexpectedly harsh and heavy -- but Franco's inspired, looped performance is right up there in the annals of reefer filmdom with Jeff Bridges' the Dude in The Big Lebowski.
Frequently hilarious, occasionally sweet and often graphically violent, Pineapple Express may not be the greatest stoner movie ever made, but it will do perfectly well until we get another hit of Harold and Kumar.
Pineapple Express is a fitfully amusing tale of drugs and crooks and general dilapidation, but the more it goes on, and the loopier it gets, the less it connects with experience. It becomes Apatow's hash-bar version of a cynical action joyride.