"Half-Baked" is now out on DVD - again - in a new "Fully Baked Edition." Along with special features that include deleted scenes, a director's commentary and a few other random supplements, the DVD gave me the chance to watch this pot-smoking film for the first time.
"Half-Baked" follows the misadventures of Dave Chappelle and his stoner buddies as they attempt to free their pal (Harland Williams) from prison after he accidentally feeds a diabetic police horse candy. Pot visions, how to go on a date for $8.00 and a number of cameos are the highlights of this relatively clever comedy that is definitely not aimed at senior citizens.
Chappelle, who probably is at the peak of his career with the popular "Dave Chappelle Show," is pretty funny in the lead role. He has great comic timing, a sarcastic wit and definitely works well as the "grounded" stoner of the lot. His friends are also funny at times, but a little over-the-top to the point where it gets old after a while.
The movie itself is a little consistent. It has some great moments and it has some dull moments, the end result being a decent but not amazing film. The best part is where Chappelle's character explains to the camera how to treat a woman to a date for only $8.00. A dollar counter appears on the screen and we follow him around as he steers her away from doing anything expensive (a.k.a. going on a 3-hour walk and getting a hot dog instead of going to a restaurant), and eventually ends up stealing money from a blind beggar. Okay, so maybe he spent more than $8.00, but it's advice that even Tom Leykis would be jealous of.
Fans of low-brow humor should get a kick out of "Half-Baked" as it is one of the smarter films of the genre, but it's not as funny as I was hoping for. People who already own the DVD shouldn't bother with this new version, as none of the special features are very interesting at all. The deleted scenes are of such poor quality they're almost difficult to watch, and most of them are merely extended versions of scenes already in the movie. The alternate ending features one funny moment, but otherwise is not that much different. "Five Minutes with The Guy on the Couch" merely is five minutes of a guy sleeping on a couch (pointless), "Granny's Guide to Bakin" has a woman explaining how to cure those munchies (but it isn't funny) and "Different Types of Smokers" explains via cartoons - yes, you guessed it - different kinds of smokers in a relatively uninteresting fashion.
"Half-Baked" is good, but not great, and the "Fully Baked Edition" really adds nothing to the experience. This is probably Chappelle's best comedy, but what do you have to compare that to?
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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