Stoner comedies are one of my favorite sub-genres. Especially when they are done right, perfect examples being How High, Harold & Kumar, Half Baked… High School cannot be added to this hall of fame, but it sure is a movie that will satisfy your need for laughter and maybe something else. Considering that this is a directorial debut for John Stalberg, it turned out pretty awesome, and without major fuck ups. The thing that annoyed me was the typical cast, that was thrown onto us without an ounce of shame. Two guys, one funny and fatty fuck up and one sciency-nerdy type become partners in crime. I mean come on.
The plot is a familiar one and just by looking at the highly original title of this movie High School, you know they ain’t trying to be authentic. The only purpose of this movie is to entertain and it does it well. It reminded me of another stoner comedy, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked. Capitalizing on the fact that more and more people like to get high nowadays, this niche is slowly but surely growing. Mostly because the bar is so low. Mostly because people who are watching these movies are stoners. And I count myself among them. I should also tell you that this isn’t your typical genre movie as it’s more of mainstream comedy with those themes. So don’t expect some Seth Rogen-James Franco vibes here.
Meet Henry and Travis, two unlikely friends brought together by the icky sticky – weed. Henry is a really smart kid with perfect grades, and he can’t wait to get into Harvard. On the other hand, Travis has one goal in his life: to get high And he consistently succeeds, while Henry hasn’t even tried weed. However, after he gets detention, he finally decides to see how it feels. What will follow is just a clusterfuck of bad circumstances.
High School would be another lame budget weed comedy if not for exactly three actors in supporting roles. They colored this movie and gave us, the viewers, something to go back to after a while. Let’s start with Adrien Brody AKA Psycho Ed, a guy who started as a shy piano player now is a vicious and psychotic tattooed drug dealer. Michael Chiklis, a bold thug from The Shield, AKA Dr. Leslie Gordon, a by-the-books principal who wants to eliminate drugs from his school. Colin Hanks AKA Brandon Ellis well, there’s nothing special about this killer from Dexter, apart from that he was that high school kid in Orange County, a movie with a similar subject. There’s also a fourth, bonus, supporting actor but I will leave him for you to discover.
In the end, if you like comedies about marijuana and high school, the movie High School will do just fine. The script is snappy and although the pacing is sometimes off, it’s still pretty good. If you’re looking for more similar movies, I recommend you check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of Stoner Movies. Enjoy.
Director: John Stalberg
Cast: Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks, Matt Bush, Sean Marquette, Curtis Armstrong
Fun Facts: John Stalberg Jr., the Writer/Director, provides the voice of Psycho Ed’s Frog.