Review by Michael Jacobson
Method Man, Redman, Obba Babatunde, Mike Epps, Lark Voorhies, Fred
Willard, Jeffrey Jones
Director: Jesse Dylan
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: See Review
Length: 94 Minutes
Release Date: May 21, 2002
want all y’all ho’s to come!”
you just call us ho’s?”
I meant it in a good way.”
stars Method Man and Redman teaming up to make a Cheech and Chong styled comedy
for the new millennium? It sounded
interesting the first time I heard it.
I remembered how much I hate Cheech and Chong.
Man and Man don’t seem to fare much better with similar material in How
High, a comedy that would be more appropriately titled How Low Can You
Go. I even hesitate to use the
word comedy, but I will, just in case some of our readers find humor in female
debasement, voluminous vomiting, exploding pigeons, and digging up corpses and
smoking their body parts.
Man plays Silas, a super-stoner who’s gained an interesting benefit from his
years of experimenting with cannabis…he’s become quite knowledgeable of
plants and their medicinal possibilities. He
meets up with Jamal (Redman), who goes to college, but hasn’t exactly been
impressive with his academic career. “Six
years at a two year community college is NOT what I had in mind,” his mama
share a love of weed, and soon, the two make a wacky discovery…by smoking the
bud of a plant that was fed the ashes of Silas’ dead friend Ivory (trust me),
they find that Ivory’s spirit appears to them, and will tell them anything.
Like, answers to hard test questions?
No problem…and with their perfect scores on the THCs (again, trust me),
our intrepid anti-heroes can get into any school they want.
Harvard? Why not?
this movie is no Legally Blonde. It’s
no Animal House, either…heck, it even makes Road Trip seem
subtle and intelligent by comparison. Silas
and Jamal’s presence at Harvard is just an excuse to poke fun at higher
learning, having goals, and bettering one’s self. Their antagonist, played by Obba Babatunde, is Dean Cain (get
it?), a well-learned and respected man of prestige at the institution.
Does the fact that he’s African American as well give our two stoner
buds a good role model? Fat chance…he’s just a constant target for their crude
Dean wants them out of Harvard, but there’s not much he can do, not as long as
the boys have their Ivory plant to smoke and can keep getting A’s without
trying. I think a crucial plot
point occurs when their beloved weed gets stolen and forces them to try and make
it on their own, but I can’t say I really watched How High in search of
gags are frequent, but few of them work…in addition to the pleasantries
mentioned earlier, there are also a couple of pimps who like to slap people with
baby powder, Jeffrey Jones as the Vice President (and an “I didn’t inhale”
joke), a gross close-up of Cheetos being eaten with a mouth open, lots of
profanity, lots of underachievement, and of course, lots of drug use.
no prude, mind you, but funny is funny, and funny is what this movie is not.
I don’t even feel like clamoring from my soap box about this being the
most disgraceful portrayal of African Americans I’ve seen in a long time, and
how this movie couldn’t be more fraught with negative stereotypes than had it
been made by the producers of Amos n’ Andy…but How High sinks
so low, it doesn’t even merit such discussion.
Man and Redman seem comfortable in front of the cameras, and might make for a
decent comedy team, if they were given something a little more worthwhile.
If all they’re interested in is being the next Cheech and Chong,
they’ve succeeded. How High is
at least as bad as any film that duo ever made, and maybe worse.
are very few complaints with this anamorphic widescreen transfer from Universal.
Generally, coloring is very good and well defined, and images are
generally sharp and detailed. A few
lower lit scenes, like the inevitable party at the end, suffer from a little bit
of softness and over-saturation, but these aren’t many…merely worth
mentioning. Brighter lit scenes
fare much better. A good effort
soundtrack fares much better, with choice of Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 tracks.
Rear channel usage is subtle and discreet, giving a little extra depth to
both louder and quieter scenes with reverb and extra effects.
The .1 channel kicks in strongly for the music, which includes a mix of
hip-hop and hard rock. Dialogue is
well presented on the front stage, where panning effects are smooth and well
not labeled a Collector’s Edition disc from Universal, this DVD still boasts a
good selection of features. The
commentary track by Method Man and Redman is frequently funny, though not all
that informative…it’s fairly apparent that both actors are still in their
stoner characters, if you know what I mean.
There is a 20 minute featurette containing cast and crew interviews
(including producer Danny DeVito!), three deleted scenes, three minutes of
outtakes, a pair of music videos, a trailer, talent files, production notes,
coming attractions from Universal, and an amusing, if ultimately pointless,
“Find the Stash” game, which could also be called “Many Worthless Easter