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Grandma's Boy
3 Stars, B


Though not as funny and as innovative as 'Grandma's Boy', 'Half Baked' provides the entertainment and laughs required for a stoner comedy. And as ridiculous as it is, it'll keep your attention for 90 minutes -- as forgettable as it may be.

The film stars Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Diaz, Harland Williams, and Jim - as four friends who live together in an apartment, all sharing the same love of the reefer. But when one of their friends ends up in jail, the three remaining friends must find a way to raise enough money to bail their friend out. They turn their smoking habit into a business, becoming well-known sellers in the city. But as the money begins to pour in, they'll find that the weed business attracts other problems along with it.

'Half Baked' is likeable enough to forgive its plot holes and other inconsistencies. The cast all perform within the realms of the stereotypical stoner comedy, but they're also very funny and entertaining to watch -- especially Chapelle. Guest appearances from the likes of Jon Stewart and Willie Nelson are all welcome surprises, and provide more comic relief for the film. It all comes down to whether or not you can sit back, turn off your brain, and let yourself be entertained. Accept 'Half Baked' for what it is, and you may just find it to be harmless, but passable, entertainment.


Two-Word Review
High Times

What you had to say...

"a brilliant job creating a great film with an extremely suspect story and difficult content."
+ KevinRobbins

HALF BAKED
(TAMRA DAVIS, 1998)
R
1 HOUR 22 MINUTES
Had it's funny moments, but overall quite boring and weak. If your looking for a better stoner movie, try Grandma's Boy.
This was slammed by critics, but I thought it had a reasonable amount of laughs. I had low expectations for it which resulted in me liking it more. It's not something that you watch for the story, but the jokes make up for it. Dave Chapelle and the rest of the cast are pretty good here, offering their own unique/quirky characters.
(***):

Half Baked (1998)

I don't know why I liked this movie but it was funny. It's absolutely ridiculous in every way but it made laugh.

HALF-BAKED is a film trying to mimic something along the lines of UP IN SMOKE in terms of incredulity and sophomorism, but fails to elicit the needed chuckle-factor it so ardently strives for. We even get a semi-cameo performance from Tommy Chong as a prison inmate known as "The Squirrel Master" but even his over-the-top antics couldn't save the film.

I'm not a big Dave Chappelle fan so that's probably a factor in my choice to review this film negatively. I don't watch THE CHAPPELLE SHOW; I just can't stomach his lowbrow comedy. I am, however, a lover of Cheech and Chong's films of the late 70s and early 80s. They were the very personification of the drug culture spilling over from the 60s.

The best "pot" movie of late that I can recall was THE BIG LEBOWSKI starring Jeff Bridges. More character piece than drug-culture talk, it had a very flawed and funny "Dude" at its core. Here with Half-Baked, the focus is muddled with side-jokes that often miss their marks.

The story is that of four marijuana smokin' friends who live lives of idleness and degeneracy. One buzzed-out day they send Kenny (Harland Williams) out on a munchies run. But while out collecting groceries galore, Kenny accidentally feeds all of the food to a diabetic police horse standing outside the store. The horse (of course) keels over of hyperglycemia and promptly dies. Kenny is whisked off to prison and a very serious threat to his anal virginity looms large. Protected by "The Squirrel Master" for now, Kenny must get bailed out before his protector hits parole. His three free buddies Thurgood (Chappelle), Scarface (Guillermo Diaz) and Brian (Jim Breuer) must come up with a flood of funds to spring him. Instead of ingenuity, though, they devise a not-so-sophisticated plan of selling lots and lots of weed. The trouble is, though, that another local drug lord wants in on their scheme. Also, Thurgood has fallen for a beautiful woman who's father is in prison for selling dope, and Thurgood must decide between love and getting high.

Homage to pot movies aside, the film simply isn't funny. There are a few lines that smack of excessive attempts to make the characters laughable ("I don't do drugs. I smoke pot.") and even they just don't hit the ol' funny bone.

The biggest blessing is that the film is only 82 minutes, so you don't have to put up long with it regardless.

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Hey, it's a classic stoner movie, what else is there to say? SCarface and Brian were by far the funniest characters in the whole movie
If it's ever in the $1 bargain bucket, then it's a must-buy. But only then.
Jim Breuer is beyond annoying and Chappelle brings the only laughs.
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