With Pineapple Express, said the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Carrie Rickey in The Mercury News, producer Judd Apatow and director David Gordon Green have successfully revived stoner comedy. For those “who worship at the ark of cannabis,” the names Dale and Saul (Seth Rogen and James Franco) can now be added alongside Cheech and Chong, Jay and Silent Bob, Harold and Kumar, and Bill and Ted.
Half-hearted acting is hardly a recipe for success, said Robert W. Butler in The Kansas City Star. Scenes in Pineapple Express “play out with the lazy loopiness of potheads exploring new theories of the space-time continuum.” The movie is “wildly uneven and at times trying,” and “even the violence is played for yuks.”
The acting isn’t the only problem with Pineapple Express, said Peter Hartlaub in the San Francisco Chronicle. “It must have been bong hits all around from the moment everyone walked onto the set.” The “writers, actors, and probably the director” must have been “really baked” throughout the making of this film, because nobody seems to have been able to “focus for more than one or two scenes at a time.”