Cheech and Chong have a storied place in American pop culture. Whether that place is wholly deserved isn’t up to me, but for what my two cents are worth, the stoner comedy duo aren’t really worth a whole lot to Americana. They have a comedy routine, man, that’s mostly about how sweet joints are, man, and about the wacky misadventures of trying to get high, man. Man. Man. Seriously, that word is so often repeated it got to be like nails on a chalkboard to me. Regardless, I had a good feeling this would offer absolutely nothing for me, and lo and behold, I was right.
Up in Smoke is derived from the hundreds of other comedy routine films in that it serves largely as a basis for putting Cheech & Chong’s comedy routines on the big screen, and little else. The plot is there for no other reason than to serve as a structure to support the so-called comedy, and even then, the film could do with a little more effort. This is a prime, maybe the definitive, example of a film that doesn’t even want to try; a perfect metaphor for the stoner mentality that the film largely sells itself to. This is a really long-winded way of saying that this is the premier stoner comedy, and offers absolutely nothing else.
This was so wasteful that it made me not even want to put forth the effort to write this review. There was no reason at all for this to make the list. Even if Cheech and Chong were deemed culturally important enough to warrant a spot, the shoddy and listless filmmaking on display here would pretty much rule this out as a viable film, let alone one MUST see before they die. Trust me when I say, you can be perfectly well off not seeing this one. It’s got no appeal outside the stoner crowd, and they won’t be reading my blog anyway, so for those of you that are, and haven’t seen this one, you can do just fine without having to.
Arbitrary Rating: 2/10