Seth Rogen comedies are among those things that you just can't get enough of, like chocolate and coffee and 1980s music on a Friday night on the town - and 'Pineapple Express', written with his long-term writing partner Even Goldberg, is another for that list. A stoner comedy, with the most unlikely heroes you're ever likely to find, it is wacky, charming and always funny.
Dale Denton (Rogen) is a stoner who serves summonses on unsuspecting strangers. Saul Silver (Franco) is his pyjama-wearing dealer, who sits around his house all day waiting for his customers to call and break the monotony of his random telly-watching. But their lives take a bit of a screwball turn when Dale accidentally witnesses a murder while smoking a joint outside the house of a major drug lord (Cole) who is about to get served. In his panic he drops the joint, a rare brand of marijuana known as Pineapple Express, and traceable only to Dale and Saul, leaving them with no option but to go on the run.
The duo, who have little in common, find themselves forced to spend all of their time together, on a road trip, hiding out in the woods, paying an odd visit to Dale's girlfriend's (Heard) family, dropping in on Saul's granny and her nursing home friends and torturing their pal Red (McBride) so that he can't rat on them. There's a police car chase, a shoot-out, some half-arsed martial arts and plenty of explosions. But mostly there's just a huge helping of male-bonding as Dale and Saul strike up a bromance in their close confines.
Rogen is fantastic as the lazy stoner, who makes his money as easily as possible and then delights in chucking it away on drugs as quickly as he gets it. But he is completely outshone this time 'round by James Franco, who steers away from his usual more serious roles (like 'Spider-Man') and proves that there was a comic genius in hiding all these years. He is a natural as the slobbish, needy and slightly-childlike drug-dealer, who wouldn't cut it for a second on the streets. Sidekick Danny McBride is also impressive as their surprisingly-domesticated, zany friend, who has strange attachments to the other world.
'Pineapple Express' is funny, without being painfully in-your-face. Sure, elements of the fight scenes and chases border on the ridiculous but the scripted humour is not too brash, leaving the actors with room to bring their own brand of funny to their roles, a challenge which the aforementioned Franco really digs his teeth into.
Go see it because... it has fantastic writers with great track records, it proves just how versatile a good actor can be and most importantly, it will make you laugh, a lot.