Review: Lazy stoner comedy ‘Ripped’ a rip-off
Puff, puff, pass on this movie about two buddies who smoke themselves into a 30-year coma
The stoner comedy “Ripped” opens with a reference to “Half Baked,” so at least it knows its audience and its terrain well.
But that’s the best thing that can be said for this poorly made time-traveling smokefest, which feels like it was cobbled together between bong rips. At one point, a boom mic is clearly visible in the shot. Who cares, man, pass the joint.
Harris and Reeves are two high school buddies heading to a Run-D.M.C. concert in 1986. They get lost on their way to the show and wind up smoking some secret government weed which puts them in a 30-year coma. They wake up to find a world of smartphones, hybrid vehicles and legal weed, the latter of which takes precedence over everything else.
The ludicrous premise is fine, but writer-director Brad Epstein only seems half-interested in carrying it through. Harris (Russell Peters) and Reeves (Faizon Love) are taken aback by modern curiosities such as EDM and Rollerblades (they were asleep for 30 years, so they missed the whole coming and going of inline skating), but they never seem too perturbed about anything or their three-decade slumber. Which, sure, is the stoner ethos, but there’s a nagging lack of commitment to the material, both in the acting and screenwriting.
There’s a romance between Harris and his teenage girlfriend Debbie (Alex Meneses plays her modern day), though it’s no more convincing than anything else in the movie.
Stoner comedies serve a very specific audience, but that designation doesn’t mean they have to be slapdash, lazy films. They work best when they’re comedies first, stoner movies second — “Half Baked” knew that, but “Ripped” doesn’t.
Not rated: Language, drug use, nudity, sexual situations
Running time: 85 minutes