Pineapple Express (film)

Pineapple Express (film)
Pineapple Express

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Gordon Green
Produced by Judd Apatow
Shauna Robertson
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Judd Apatow
  • Seth Rogen
  • Evan Goldberg
Starring Seth Rogen
James Franco
Gary Cole
Rosie Perez
Craig Robinson
Amber Heard
Kevin Corrigan
Danny R. McBride
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Tim Orr
Editing by Craig Alpert
Studio Relativity Media
Apatow Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) August 6, 2008 (2008-08-06)
Running time 112 minutes
117 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[1]
Box office $101,549,277[1]

Pineapple Express is a 2008 American stoner action comedy directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Rogen and James Franco. 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. The film was released on August 6, 2008. Franco was nominated for a Golden Globe award for his performance in the film.



Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) is a 25-year-old process server who, in delivering a subpoena to drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole), witnesses Jones and his business partner/girlfriend, corrupt police officer Carol Brazier (Rosie Perez), commit murder. Dale panics and leaves a roach at the scene containing a rare strain of marijuana called Pineapple Express. Ted subsequently identifies the roach as the strain that he had sold to only one dealer. He sends his two henchmen, Budlofsky (Kevin Corrigan) and Matheson (Craig Robinson) to the dealer, Red (Danny McBride), who discloses that he has only sold the pot to Dale's dealer, Saul Silver (James Franco).

Dale flees to Saul's apartment in a panic and explains what happened. After a brief conversation, Dale realizes Ted could trace the roach back to Saul. They flee Saul's apartment, while Ted's henchmen persuade Red to arrange a meeting between Red and Saul, but this fails because Dale and Saul spend the night in the woods.

After sleeping for 18 hours, Dale and Saul arrive at Red's house and hope that talking with Red in person will help them determine whether Ted has linked them, and therefore whether he is in pursuit. Instead, Dale decides that Red will reveal their whereabouts to Ted, and the three fight. Convinced that Ted's men are pursuing them, they decide that they must leave the city. Dale goes to his girlfriend Angie's (Amber Heard) house to warn her and her parents (Nora Dunn and Ed Begley, Jr.), but only Angie's father does not believe him. Matheson and Budlofsky pursue Dale and Saul to Angie's house, and her family goes into hiding.

To leave town, Dale and Saul sell some of Saul's Pineapple Express to raise bus fare. A police officer later catches Dale smoking a joint and arrests him for selling the weed to middle school kids. Dale convinces the arresting officer that Brazier is corrupt. Saul saves Dale by hijacking the squad car, while Officer Brazier hears a police radio call of Dale's arrest. She pursues Dale and Saul in a high speed chase, but Dale and Saul evade her.

Dale and Saul argue about the mess they have found themselves in, resulting in Dale telling Saul that they are not friends and never were. The two part ways, angry and upset. Saul visits his grandmother in an assisted living home and finds Budlofsky and Matheson looking for him. They kidnap Saul and take him to Ted's lair, a barn and underground pot grow house which used to be the old Army base. Dale enlists Red to help him rescue Saul from Ted, but Red backs out at the last minute and Dale is captured.

While Dale and Saul are held captive, they make up. Just then, a rival Asian drug gang attacks the barn to avenge a member's death at the hands of Ted and Carol (coincidentally, this is the murder that Dale witnessed earlier). Dale and Saul free themselves and join the conflict. Dale and Ted endure a brawl that ends in Ted's death when one of the Asians (Ken Jeong) sets off a bomb that destroys the barn. Matheson kills Budlofsky for refusing to kill Saul when he had the chance. When Matheson is about to kill Saul, Red bursts through the wall with his car, running over Matheson. While Saul thanks Red, Carol reaches for a gun and shoots Red, seemingly killing him. The bomb goes off, first exploding Red's car and the burning car falls on top of Carol, killing her. Dale carries an unconscious Saul out of the burning barn. Just as Saul awakens, Red crawls from the wreckage. In the end, Dale, Saul, and Red go to a diner to eat and celebrate their friendship, then Saul's grandmother picks them up and takes them to a hospital.



The inspiration for making Pineapple Express, according to producer Judd Apatow, was Brad Pitt's character in True Romance, a stoner named Floyd. Apatow "thought it would be funny to make a movie in which you follow that character out of his apartment and watch him get chased by bad guys".[2] According to Rogen, the ideal production budget was $40 million, but due to the subject matter - "because it's a weed movie", as he described it - Sony Pictures allotted $25 million.[3]

David Gordon Green met with Apatow, Rogen and Goldberg on the set of Knocked Up, and later on the set of Superbad to discuss the project.[4] Green cited The Blues Brothers, Midnight Run, Running Scared, the Terrence Malick written The Gravy Train and Stir Crazy as sources of inspiration and influence on directing the film.[4]

Rogen was originally going to play Saul, but Apatow suggested that Franco should play the role instead. After a table read, Rogen agreed, thus casting himself in the role of Dale Denton.[5]

Seth Rogen spoke with musician Huey Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News, about writing and performing the film's theme song in November 2007.[6]

There was an exclusive sneak peek of the film attached to the Superbad DVD, which was released on December 4, 2007.

Release and reception

The film has received generally positive reviews from critics with a rating of 68% on the review website Rotten Tomatoes. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune praised the film's script, noting that it "recalls what made Superbad worth seeing: the sidewinding conversational riffs, the why-am-I-laughing? wordplay."[7] However, he was critical of the second half of the film, and felt that the violence in contrast to the comedy of the first half was jarring and gratuitous.[7] Sonny Bunch of the Washington Times agreed with Phillips, opining that "It’s a shame so much attention was paid to the gun battles and so little to character development."[8] Kelly Vance of East Bay Express enjoyed Franco's performance, stating that he "steals the movie easily", as well as the authenticity of the film's sets.[9]

A "red-band" trailer for the film, featuring the song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A.,[10] leaked in February 2008.[11] Sony Pictures had the video removed from YouTube within a few days of its posting.[12] Patrick Goldstein's Summer Movie Posse of the Los Angeles Times described its incorporation as "the most impressive use of M.I.A.'s 'Paper Planes' ever".[13] M.I.A. has said that she never authorized the use of the song.[14] Pineapple Express had an advance screening at the Just for Laughs Film Festival on July 19, 2008.[15] The film was released on August 6, 2008.[16] Cable network FX pre-bought exclusive rights to air the film after its theatrical run.[17] One particular aspect of the film that has been almost universally praised is the cinematography; Seth Rogen even joked on the commentary that "even people who hate the movie admit that it's shot well".

Box office

Sony released the film on Wednesday August 6, 2008 with $12,085,679 in ticket sales. Over the weekend it opened at number two behind The Dark Knight with $23,245,025 for a five day total of $41,318,736. The film went on to gross $87,341,380 domestically with a worldwide total of $101,549,277.[1]

Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 6, 2009. Both rated and unrated versions of the film are available. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Australia on December 31, 2008. Both the Blu-ray and 2-disc DVD versions of the film come with a digital copy of the unrated film. As of November 1, 2009 the DVD has sold 2,510,321 and generated $43,033,863 in sales revenue.[18]


The original motion picture soundtrack to the film was released on August 5, 2008.[19] Although featured in the trailer for the film,[20] the song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. is not used in the film or on its soundtrack. Following the trailer's release, "Paper Planes" gained massive airplay, entering the Top 5 on Billboard Hot 100. Also featured in the film but absent from the soundtrack album are Grace Jones' Sly and Robbie produced cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire", the former of which can be found on her 1998 compilation Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions.

  1. "Pineapple Express" by Huey Lewis and the News (4:27)
  2. "Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant (3:48)
  3. "Dr. Greenthumb" by Cypress Hill (3:08)
  4. "Lost at Birth" by Public Enemy (3:33)
  5. "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe (4:20)
  6. "Wanted Dread and Alive" by Peter Tosh (4:22)
  7. "Don't Look Around" by Mountain (3:44)
  8. "Pineapple Chase (aka The Reprise of the Phoenix)" by Graeme Revell (3:03)
  9. "Bird's Lament" by Moondog & The London Saxophonic (2:02)
  10. "Coconut Girl" by Brother Noland (3:36)
  11. "Hi'ilawe" by Arthur Lyman (1:09)
  12. "Time Will Tell by Bob Marley (3:31)
  13. "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (3:45)
  14. "Pineapple Fight (aka The Nemesis Proclaimed)" by Graeme Revell (3:08)
  15. "I Didn't Mean to Hurt You" by Spiritualized (5:12)
  16. "Woke Up Laughing" by Robert Palmer (3:35)

Possible sequel

Judd Apatow stated that there's a strong possibility for a sequel.[21][22]


  1. ^ a b c "The Pineapple Express - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  2. ^ Svetkey, Benjamin (April 18, 2008). "'Pineapple Express': High hopes for James Franco". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.,,20192513,00.html. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  3. ^ Halperin, Shirley (April 11, 2008). "Marijuana Movies: Riding High In Hollywood?". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc.,,20190469_2,00.html. Retrieved July 16, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Douglas, Edward (August 4, 2008). "Exclusive: Pineapple Express' David Gordon Green". Retrieved August 4, 2008. 
  5. ^ Goldman, Eric (March 18, 2008). "Judd Apatow: From Freaks and Geeks to Sarah Marshall and Beyond". IGN. Retrieved August 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ Halperin, Shirley (November 26, 2007). "Seth Rogen inviting Huey Lewis aboard 'Pineapple Express'?". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Phillips, Michael (August 5, 2008). "'Pineapple Express' stars James Franco, Seth Rogen". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company.,0,5842152.story. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ Bunch, Sonny (August 6, 2008). "New Apatow comedy goes up in smoke". Washington Times. News World Media Development. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ Vance, Kelly (August 6, 2008). "Nice Dreams". East Bay Express. Jody Colley. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ Foerster, Jonathan (June 12, 2008). "We've got the soundtrack to your summer". Naples Daily News. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  11. ^ Sperling, Nicole (February 13, 2008). "And the red-band played on... or not". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  12. ^ Sperling, Nicole (February 14, 2008). "Smoke up, Seth Rogen: 'Pineapple Express' red-band trailer is finally online". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  13. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (April 29, 2008). "Summer Movie Posse gives its thumbs up....and down". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved July 22, 2008. 
  14. ^ “”. "M.I.A. Interview About Pregnancy". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  15. ^ Kelly, Brendan; Frankel, Daniel (June 17, 2008). "'Pineapple' opens comedy festival". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  16. ^ Mohr, Ian (June 5, 2007). "Apatow, Rogen set 'Pineapple' date". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved July 15, 2008. 
  17. ^ Dempsey, John (June 24, 2008). "FX to 'Mess With the Zohan'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved September 3, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Top Selling DVDs of 2009". Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  19. ^ "Pineapple Express Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. Retrieved October 9, 2009. 
  20. ^ Williams, Leslie (May 14, 2008). "Leslie Williams: Selecting summer music, films". The Orion Online. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Judd Apatow talks possible PINEAPPLE EXPRESS sequel". 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  22. ^ "Judd Apatow Says ‘Pineapple Express 2′ Likely, ‘Superbad 2′ Not So Much » MTV Movies Blog". 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 

External links

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