Lets talk a little bit about Dave Chappelle. The man was a comedy icon for a time raking in the money and the love of audiences all over. He had a moment of clarity and became a warrior for Justice and comedic purity which he still favors to this day. We are of course not talking about that Dave Chappelle. We are going back to the days when he was getting himself into the acting business doing jokes (many weed related) that got him into the industry as a whole. We are of course talking about that defining film “Half-Baked”. I have been meaning to watch this film for years but have unfortunately been sidelined due to many other things. Finding a copy of this gem for $1 was hard to resist.
This is a story of four potheads they enjoy living their lives, getting together at the end of the day and getting high. When one of them goes to jail for killing a police animal (you just have to watch it to understand) they make a pact to raise the money in order to get him out of jail. Along the way Dave Chappelle’s character gains introspective and has to take a long hard look at the life he is currently leading and where he hopes to be in the future.
This film does have a number of funny moments. Dave Chappelle is on point with his acting and I can easily see where this got him started on the boom that launched him towards stardom. I would say his portrayal of the weed based rapper had to be one of the better moments of enjoyment and you could easily see who he was lampooning there. I also thought that the scene where the dog was getting high and became one of the group had a special place. The plot was simplistic but comedy wise this is usually better as it loses laughs when you get too wound up into plot points and twists.
The worst sin this movie committed for me is that there were times that it really bored me. I felt that there were some definite lags that could have been better taken care of in the writing. I also feel that they under-utilized the supporting cast and while this put Dave Chappelle more clearly in the forefront I don’t feel that it was a necessary move. Lastly I wasn’t that impressed by the acting all the way around when it came to the supporting cast. It doesn’t take much to play a dumb stoner but I feel the basic personalities of the characters were kind of lost out after their introductions and they just all became “dumb stoners” chuckling away in the background (except for Dave Chappelle). I finally feel that the plot had a lot of points but that the ending didn’t feel right to me. I once saw an alternate ending for the film (I won’t spoil it for you) where Dave Chappelle’s character choses differently. I kind of think in the spirit of comedy they could have done better if they went in this direction as the character became too serious in the end.
In truth I can seen how this film boosted Dave Chappelle’s career, it is a basic and enjoyable stoner comedy. I do think that it could have been done better in the end and though it may be a Gem it is one in the rough.