Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TADFF Review: High School

High School

Henry (Matt Bush) is an honour roll student who has always played by the rules. His pal Travis (Sean Marquette), on the other hand, is a stoner whose future is as cloudy as the marijuana he enhales. Travis convinces Henry to let loose and try some weed just one time. Unfortunately for the boys, they get high the night before the school principle, Gordon (Michael Chiklis), announces that he will be taken a harsh stance on drugs. On the day of the final exams, every student will have to take part in mandatory drug testing. Anyone student who fails the test will be immediately expelled. Fearing that his application to MIT is in jeopardy, Henry decides to go along with Travis’ crazy plan to get the whole school high via the PTA bake sale. If the whole school fails the drug screening than the results will be deemed inadmissible. In order to get enough drugs to affect the students and staff, Travis and Henry must steal some of the most potent marijuana on earth from a local drug dealer, the unstable Psycho Ed (Adrien Brody).

At the time of screening, High School still did not have a distributor attached. Which I find rather odd since this is a film that will appeal to both stoners and non-stoners alike. High School is a blend of Superbad mixed with Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, and sprinkled with a dash of Ferris Buellers Day Off. I understand that some people may fear that their children will get “bad ideas” from the film, but the film does not break any new ground. Director John Stalberg’s film is more of a buddy comedy than it is a pro-marijuana film. In fact, it shows the horrors of marijuana more than anything else. Henry and Travis’ plan gets increasing complicated as everything spirals out of control.

The fun in High School comes from watch Henry and Travis trying to outsmart everyone from Principle Gordon to rival straight “A” student Sebastain (Adhir Kaylan), while having Psycho Ed breathing down their necks. Matt Bush does a wonderful job as Henry, he really holds his own against the star-studded supporting cast. Both Bush and Marquette, who is like a young John Belushi, help to keep the pacing brisk and the laughs flowing. Credit must be given to the exceptional supporting cast. Michael Chiklis, who is unrecognizable in the film, is hilarious as the school principle who is determined to cleanse the school of drugs at all cost. It is Chiklis’ Gordon and Brody’s Psycho Ed who have some of the best lines in the film. The rest of the supporting players, including Colin Hanks, Yeardley Smith, Andrew Wilson, Mykelti Williamson, and Michael Vartan provide enough additional laughs that none of the characters ever feel out of place. While High School may not bring anything unique to the teen comedy genre, it offers up enough laughs that makes it well worth the trip back to school.

Grade: B


  1. I want to see this so bad. Ever since that teaser. Glad it doesn't suck.

  2. @Simon - The teaser does not really do the film justice. The trailer makes it look far more serious than the film actually is.


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