The Pineapple Express (2008) and Wanted (2008)
So because I’d been hanging out to see both of these movies for a while I thought I may as well review them together and also because I didn’t feel up to writing two posts after I had just finished doing an assignment one and a half times (everyone should save backups of everything okay?). It could also be fun to review movies that really have nothing to do with each other. They are probably both worth your time too.
The Pineapple Express is the latest of those Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen comedies; think Knocked Up, Superbad and most importantly their seminal Freaks and Geeks TV series which is one of the reasons why this movie was just so damn funny. Story is this; stoner dude Dale (Rogen) accidently witnesses a murder by a drug lord and enlists the help of his drug dealer ‘sort of friend’ (James Franco) to run away with after leaving a joint of Pineapple Express pot that can be traced back to him. The story doesn’t sound like much but it’s quirky and a good setup for one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in ages.
Franco does an amazingly funny job in his role of drug dealer Saul, child like, geeky and typically drugged (well he is a drug dealer); I was suprised he could be that funny considering his past work has been mostly serious. He upshows Rogen who’s normally the crazy funny guy, which he is in this film, to an extent but he can hardly compare to Franco’s wackniess but they both play off each other really fucking well. In the second half of the film when shit starts to go down and it slowly morphs into a comedy action things just get better. Also fantastic was the inclusion of actors from pretty much all my favourite things (The Office, Freaks and Geeks etc;). I was expecting it to be funny but not that funny; I was also expecting it to be pretty low brow stoner humour but I watched it straight I thought it was awesome so critics dismissing it as this are pretty wrong.
On the other hand is Wanted, an action film I had been wanting to see mostly due to fact that I quite enjoyed the comic it is (sort of) based on. Turns out though that they decided to cut all the good stuff that was in the comic and really toned it down/completely changed the storyline for the film though. In the comic Wesley is a typically boring office worker who finds out he is actually the son of a Super Villain and has super evil gun aiming powers and is recruited into a Super Villain team. It’s mostly about the death of silver age comics, human morality and middle class bordom and I could see why they had to change things for the film but I’m still annoyed. In the film Wesley is the same guy who then finds out he is the son of a assassin who kills ‘for the greater good’ and is thus recruited into a league of secret assassins by Angelina Jolie.
Moving on from the fact that it’s way different then its source material it’s actually pretty decent. There are some amazingly good action scenes, such as one on a train and there are also some really cool matrix like slow motion curving bullets scenes. There are still questions raised about the nature of killing but they are quickly glossed over to make room for more killing. I still enjoyed it and James McAvoy does a good job of playing the Geek turned Assasian but I wonder what it could have been like if they had stuck to the source material and made a much darker and more evil film.