A reefer runs through it

Movie: How High

comment
Our Rating: 3.00

Stoner comedy hasn't really traveled very far since Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong went "Up in Smoke" in 1978.

Although lots of recent movies have paid homage to the masters (see "Dude, Where's My Car?"), the latest twists seem only to have moved the action from the 'burbs to the ghetto (see "Friday"). While you should not expect anything new from the latest stoner comedy "How High" -- the directorial debut by Jesse Dylan, the lesser known son of Bob -- you might notice a subtle shift in ambition. These smokers are looking up.

The smokers are rappers Method Man and Redman, playing low-rent bud-buddies Silas and Jamal, respectively, who have little respect for their dead-end lives. But their lot in life begins looking up when some very special weed seems to raise their I.Q.s. Getting smart doesn't mean much without credentials, so the well-stoked pair applies to get into Harvard -- and succeeds. The big laughs (for those of us not stoned already) derive from the various reactions to the collision of the two cultures.

Chief among those are Dean Cain's various confrontations with his new tokin' tokens. Bow-tied Cain (Obba Babatund?) makes for a perfect Oreo, and thus the perfect butt for the blunt brothers' jokes. Playing Dean Cain's flip side is the ever-droll Fred Willard who, as Chancellor Huntley, finds no behavior ridiculous if he thinks it'll make him more hip to the hip-hop.

Hector Elizondo, as a coach, and Spalding Gray, as an eccentric professor, more or less emphasize the point. The various complications of keeping a steady supply of smart weed add little except for the machinations of an amusingly goofy character named I Need Money (Al Shearer).

As for Redman and Method Man, neither should give up his day job in music. They're not nearly as funny as they think they are to each other. You can credit them for the music, which is satisfactory but not stellar. Unlike well-rounded talents like Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur, these guys struggle to come up with two dimensions, let alone three.

Rush out to see this only if you believe in leaving no turn unstoned. Otherwise, save it for video night on the sofa, with munchies.

Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.