Up in Smoke review by Tom Blain

If you don't love this movie does that make you a Republican? Probably another question for another day...

So I'm going to disappoint a lot of stoners out there when i say I did not review this movie under the influence. I did smoke panama red or maui wowie, take uppers, downers, greenies, pinkies, acid, angel dust, ludes, poppers, jumpers, or HGH. Maybe I took some claritin last night for this allergy thing I have but thats the extent to my mind expansion for this viewing of Up in Smoke. I didnt keep it real and I bowed to the establishment. If I still have your attention, were moving on to the next paragraph now; try to keep up.

Having said all this and established that Im stone sober I did indeed watch Up in Smoke felt like I was at a slight disadvantage. There are moments in Up in Smoke where, if sober, I would compare to being the designated driver for a keg party. Its a great idea in theory; how often do you get to go home from something like that and remember exactly how the party went? See how dumb your friends are? Mess with their heads? But in practice it usually means you were just the sucky guy on the outside not having near as much fun as your stupid friends. The sober guy is always on a different plane of existence from the drunks and therefore doesn't share the good times in the same way.

And now onto movie. In Up In Smoke you have Pedro (Cheech Marin) and Anthony 'Man' Stoner (Tommy Chong). When it comes to character naming Chong didnt think too hard. Up in Smoke is the first and the best in a long line of Cheech and Chong films. Pedro is a lowlife Latino who cruises around in his pimped out car (liscense plate "MUF DVR") looking for women to pick up. He accidentally picks up lowlife hippy Stoner who was recently kicked out of his conservative parents house. The misunderstanding quickly becomes fortuitous as Stoner comes equipped with a joint the size of a Chipotle burrito that he is ready to share. The two get stoned and arrested.

The odyssey for more weed continues. Eventually they go on a journey to Mexico where they (and this is when the story gets really good) drive a truck back across the border which, unbeknownst to them, is made out of hash. They dont seem to notice they are driving a bong on wheels; Pedro is more concerned with making a delivery, picking up loose hippy chicks, and getting to the battle of the bands on time. Meanwhile bumbling drug enforcement officers lead by the bad guy militant Sgt. Stedenko (Stacy Keach) are doing anything they can to catch the two potheads.

Thats probably enough description. You can probably get away with calling this movie a cult classic if not a classic. That doesn't mean its great though. Its a "first of its kind" comedy about a couple losers who smoke pot during the movie and go on zany adventures together. There isnt much else that ties the movie together and I'm sure if you are like one of them, the ride is much more enjoyable. The movie does have its comedic moments though. My dad won't let me forget the scene where Sgt. Stedenko screams, "Shoot the tires!" and one of his cronies shoots the tires of the car they are driving. Ok, thats pretty damn funny. But overall, it drags at times. (honestly drags was unintentional; Ill leave it in)

But overall, and maybe its because I'm not "one of them", I didn't laugh as much as I hoped to or at least as much as when I saw this the first time. It was stupid fun, but I wouldnt turn back to Up in Smoke if I needed some good repeat comedy. If you have a case of the munchies, I'm sure this is what you'll reach for but other than that its a fairly decent comedy.




5 out of 10 Jackasses
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