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NO SMOKE, NO FIRE

PUBLISHED: 13:45 13 September 2008 | UPDATED: 08:56 21 July 2010

Seth Rohan and James Franco in Pineapple Express

Seth Rohan and James Franco in Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express (15) STONER movies are often a bit of a minefield. Pathetic losers off their heads on weed getting into wacky scrape after wacky scrape and still managing to come out smelling of roses is a popular theme for Hollywood s money men...

Pineapple Express (15)

STONER movies are often a bit of a minefield.

Pathetic losers off their heads on weed getting into wacky scrape after wacky scrape and still managing to come out smelling of roses is a popular theme for Hollywood's money men.

If the Coen brothers' twisted comedy, The Big Lebowski, is the high point then the execrable Dude Where's My Car? is more in keeping with the usual standard of the genre.

Now the team responsible for The 40-year-old Virgin, Knocked Up and Superbad have tried their hand at a comedy involving drugs.

Pineapple Express is an action comedy of sorts.

Dale Denton (Seth Rogen), a perennial loser, who is constantly under the influence of the dreaded weed, and his emotionally backward drug dealer, Saul Silver (James Franco), go on the run after Denton witnesses a murder.

The film's title comes from a particularly potent brand of pot that only Silver is selling, thus linking him to the murder after Denton discards the butt of his spliff at the scene.

What follows is a maelstrom of car chases, gunfights and explosions as the duo forge a relationship in the strangest of circumstances and try to stay one step ahead of the murderous drug dealers on their tail.

Pineapple Express bills itself as showing the negative sides of drug abuse - but beneath the orgy of gunfire and explosions it's difficult to see a message.

However, the biggest flaw with Pineapple Express is its lack of laughs. Seeing stoned losers staggering around in the forest and trying to wield guns just doesn't tickle my funny bone.

But maybe that's just me.

Pineapple Express isn't a bad film. The characters are considered and the performances are generally good.

But it just doesn't add up to much more than a wacky romp through a haze of marijuana smoke and isn't a patch on earlier efforts from the same team.

By WILLIAM DAVIES.


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