HALF BAKED: I WISH I HAD BEEN
Before Dave Chappelle ran off to Africa, he wrote a little film called Half Baked. This was in 1998, five years before “Chappelle Show”. There is no doubt in my mind as to why this film didn’t catapult him into fame. The film has a dumb story, horrendous acting, and laughable effects. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Kenny (Harland Williams), Brian (Jim Breur), Scarface (Guillermo Diaz), and Thurgood (Dave Chappelle) are friends that grew up together. When they were in junior high they discovered marijuana. Since then, they have adapted a lifestyle that enables them to smoke whenever possible. They live together and smoke at night. One night Kenny goes out to get them snacks to satisfy their munchies. As he is high from the “Mary Jane”, he feeds all their goodies to a horse that has been parked in front of the store by its cop rider. Unbeknownst to Kenny, the horse is diabetic and dies from sugar shock. Kenny is arrested and sent to jail for killing a “cop”. When his friends learn about this, they decide to raise the money for his bail by selling pot that Thurgood steals from the building that he is a janitor for. During this, Thurgood also finds time to have a love interest by the name of “Mary Jane” (Rachel True).
This movie was painful for me to watch. These characters were stereotypes and almost cartoons of real people. Brian was by far the most unoriginal, with his Jerry Garcia obsession, tie dye t-shirts, stinking feet, and job at the record store. He didn’t have anymore brain cells to lose. The story showed its low budget with its flying sequence when the guys first get high from the marijuana that Thurgood steals. You can almost see the green screen and wires hanging from their backs. Dave Chappelle has shown that he has talent for comedy. But it wasn’t found in this film. This was a self-serving film, not unlike what Adam Sandler does. But the difference with Adam Sandler films is that he knows his audience, he knows how to market to them, and he knows how to make a movie. The story tried to be funny but got caught up in its own little inside jokes, such as the name of the guys’ bongs. These names included “Billy Bong Thorton” and “Wesley Pipes”. But even this did not make the movie watchable.
This movie would have been better if had never been made. Somebody needed to sit down with Dave Chappelle and show him that as comical as smoking pot can be, even Cheech and Chong knew that you had to have a funny story to go with your herb.
As I didn’t like this movie at all, I don’t recommend that anybody see it. The story was dumb, the acting was below par, and the effects were just plain bad. If you must see it, I advise you to be Fully Baked.