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Tropic Thunder vs Pineapple Express

Published July 29, 2008 in Early Reviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of DreamWorks, First Showing
Tropic ThunderTropic Thunder
Now that Step Brothers has already hit the ground running, audiences looking for the next tentpole-comedy could be forced to decide between Tropic Thunder and Pineapple Express. With release dates that are only a week apart, it comes as no surprise that some reviews might compare the two.

Tropic Thunder vs Pineapple Express


The good people at FirstShowing got an early screening of both Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder at Comic Con -- lucky bastards -- and figured it was worth comparing the two comedies side by side.

Pineapple Express (8 out of 10)
Is it wrong to see a movie and want to get high throughout the entire film? Smoking pot has never been so cool, as Seth Rogen and James Franco star in Judd Apatow's newest creation. From start to finish, this looks and feels like an Apatow film. However, it doesn't quite do for me what his previous films like 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad did. It feels like the action in the film (which was done surprisingly well) took a little bit away from our own relationship with each character, but in spots it adds to the comedy visually. It almost seems unfair to compare this and the previous Apatow films, because this was tagged from the beginning as an action/comedy, yet it still doesn't seem to ever reach the levels that his previous films did. Even though it has minor flaws, Pineapple Express has solid dialogue that will be sure to keep you laughing the entire time - there's certainly no question about that.

The ended up landing a score of 8 out of 10, with a lot of kudos being thrown James Franco's direction. From what I've seen from the trailers, and I've seen a lot, the review seems about right.



Tropic Thunder (9 out of 10)
I have to admit that I was trying to hold back all excitement for Tropic Thunder. My expectations were pretty high, but I didn't want to put myself in a position to be disappointed. I know that the cast is fantastic and there have been some great viral videos from Stiller, Black, and Downey Jr., but the whole idea was a bit suspect to me. Not only did it work, it exceeded all expectations that I had, perhaps being my favorite action/comedy this year (in obvious competition with Pineapple Express). Downey Jr. puts down a fantastic performance and Stiller goes back to doing what he does best - being Ben Stiller! The comedy in this film will keep you laughing, no matter how disturbing and off color the humor might be.

Comparison
Since the action/comedy tag is put on both Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder, a comparison is undoubtedly necessary. Where the action scenes sometimes didn't work for me in Pineapple, they succeeded in Thunder. From numerous hilarious cameos to solid acting, Tropic Thunder is a great film from start to finish. Pineapple Express is great as well, but it is exactly what you'd expect from Apatow and company...


I'm going to say that both films are funny, which is all we can ask for. But if you want the final conclusion, then race over to FirstShowing.

Tropic Thunder opens to theaters on August 13th.

For stills, trailers, posters and more movie info, go to the Tropic Thunder Movie Page.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of DreamWorks, First Showing
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