How High

Last updated
How High
How High poster.JPG
Promotional poster
Directed by Jesse Dylan
Produced byPamela Abdy
Danny DeVito
James Ellis
Shauna Garr
Michael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
Written by Dustin Abraham
Starring
Music by Rockwilder
Cinematography Francis Kenny
Edited byLarry Bock
Production
companies
Jersey Films
Native Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • December 21, 2001 (2001-12-21)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$20 million
Box office$31.3 million

How High is a 2001 American stoner comedy film starring Method Man and Redman, written by Dustin Lee Abraham, and director Jesse Dylan's debut feature film.

Contents

In the film, Redman and Method Man portray two cannabis users who are visited by the ghost of a deceased friend after smoking his ashes. The ghost helps with their exams, and they receive scholarships to Harvard University. The film received generally negative reviews from film critics. [1]

Plot

Two underachieving potheads , Silas (Method Man) and Jamal (Redman) are visited by the ghost of Silas's recent deceased friend Ivory (Chuck Deezy). Ivory was cremated and Silas used his ashes as fertilizer for a new batch of marijuana. While sitting in the parking lot before taking their "THC" (Testing for Higher Credentials, a parody of the SAT and an allusion to tetrahydrocannabinol) exams for college, Silas has his marijuana but no cigar while Jamal has a cigar but nothing left to smoke, leading them to team up in Silas's car.

They soon discover that smoking Silas's new batch summons the ghost of the recently deceased Ivory, visible to just the two of them. Ivory tells them the test answers as they take the test and they both score perfect scores. Several dubious colleges offer the pair scholarships, but none of them are appealing. Eventually, Chancellor Huntley (Fred Willard) suggests the two apply to Harvard University.

Once there, they meet Bart (Chris Elwood), captain of the rowing team, his girlfriend Lauren (Lark Voorhies), I Need Money (Al Shearer), and their roommates Jeffrey (Justin Urich) and Tuan (Trieu Tran). Once they are settled in, they visit Dean Carl Cain (Obba Babatundé) who tells them that per the terms of their scholarship, they must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in order to remain, or else face expulsion.

Jamal joins the rowing team hoping to outrank Bart. Silas enrolls in a botany class to develop his "herbal" skills, and they both enroll in black history. Throughout the semester, they pass every test with the help of Ivory. Silas continues to woo and study with Lauren, while Jamal dates the U.S. vice president's (Jeffrey Jones) daughter Jamie (Essence Atkins).

Also during the first half of the semester, they pull pranks and steal, which angers Bart, Jeffrey (who is pledging for a Final Club), and Dean Cain. Things go downhill after Silas and Jamal's raucous Halloween party. At the party, Gerald (T. J. Thyne), the volunteer officer whose bicycle was stolen and crushed by I Need Money, steals and smokes the Ivory plant, leaving the pair without access to Ivory.

Silas begins working on a truth serum for his Botany class, using plant extracts. Silas concludes that, if his experiment works, he will earn an A in Botany, and a guarantee of a next semester. His experiment fails numerous times. Before midterms Jamal suggests they go to a graveyard, dig up a "smart dead guy", and smoke his remains which they attempted to do so with John Quincy Adams. Whereas Silas suggests simply that they study hard for a few hours a day while high. They try Silas's plan, but it does not pan out, as they end up failing almost all of their midterm exams.

Desperate to stay in Harvard, they try Jamal's plan, but it proves fruitless, as well. Meanwhile, Gerald, who has morphed into a complete stoner, sees Ivory during one of his binges, and, at Ivory's behest, returns the remnants of the Ivory plant to Jamal and Silas. Due to Gerald's abuse of the plant very little remains and Jamal and Silas continue to fail their classes, which pleases Dean Cain.

With the last final exam approaching, Jamal and Silas resign themselves to give up. However, Jeffrey reminds Silas of his guarantee of another semester if he can successfully fix his truth serum experiment. Silas ultimately does, having found a solution in which the last of Ivory's leaves could be used to counteract nausea.

Nonetheless, because of their low grades, Jamal and Silas do not receive an invitation to the Harvard Alumni party. Dean Cain, clearly thrilled with this result, tells Bart he does not have to worry about the pair showing up or staying in Harvard. However, that changes when Jamie invites them both as her dates, as her father is an alumnus. At the party, Silas makes things a bit more interesting by testing out his truth serum experiment, which proves successful.

At Lauren's presentation at the alumni party of Benjamin Franklin's artifacts, she shocks everyone with her discovery: the artifacts turn out to be a bong. Ivory even shows up with Benjamin Franklin to confirm the bong's authenticity. Dean Cain is outraged by this finding, but the Chancellor decides that he has had it with the Dean and fires him. Jamal and Silas are proud that the serum worked, a celebration that was almost short-lived, as Dean Cain returns and unsuccessfully attempts to kill them both with an ax as revenge. He is eventually apprehended by Secret Service. At the end, Jamal and Silas are able to stay, Jamal and Jamie get approval of Jamie's father to date, and Lauren leaves Bart for Silas because Bart "can't satisfy her".

Cast

Reception

How High received generally negative reviews from critics; it received an approval rating of 27% rating from Rotten Tomatoes based on 52 reviews, with the sites consensus stating: "How High is a sloppily constructed stoner movie filled with lame, vulgar jokes." [1]

Mike Clark of USA Today gave the film two and a half stars out of four. He concluded that it did not have enough material "to sustain its 91 minutes" but did have enough "low-grade laughs" for its target audience. [2]

Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle , Bob Graham noted that "It looks like a movie somebody hallucinated and put up on the screen". He praised some humorous scenes such as the exhumation of John Quincy Adams, but criticized an abrupt ending. [3]

Entertainment Weekly rated it third in their "Best Stoner Movie" top ten list. [4] The movie also won the Stony Award for Best Stoner Movie in 2002. [5]

Soundtrack

Sequel

In October 2008, Redman revealed that a script for the sequel was in the middle of being written, stating that "we wanna represent all the smokers", believing that since How High, no one has done justice on a stoner film. [6] In April 2009, it was reported that Redman blames Universal Pictures for the film's delay, stating: "They're not opening that money door for us to shoot it. We promoted the shit out of that movie. We got the whole world waiting for a How High 2." [7]

In December 2010, Redman confirmed that Universal Pictures is indeed holding the rights to How High, so the chances of How High 2 coming out are slim. [8] In April 2013, Method Man told TMZ that the script was being written by Dustin Lee Abraham, who wrote the first one, but it all would depend on Universal if the film would happen. [9]

In November 2015, Redman stated How High 2 would be released in 2017. [10]

In 2017, there was a written script, confirmed by Matt "M-80" Markoff. [11] Redman stated that the script is being "rewritten" because he did not like the script. He expects production to begin late 2017, early 2018. In November 2017, Redman said that if the draft is not as funny as the original draft, he and Method Man would move on to something other than the sequel. Redman has confirmed that him and Method Man are not reprising their roles in the sequel because "the business wasn't right". [12]

The sequel has been greenlit by MTV and Universal 1440 Entertainment as of June 25, 2018. The film takes place in Atlanta.

Production started as of September 25, 2018. The film stars Lil' Yachty and DC Young Fly. It was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD in 2019.

On March 7, 2019, MTV announced that the film How High 2 would premiere on April 20, 2019, 420 Day, and that Mike Epps would reprise as Baby Powder. They also released the opening credits sequence. [13]

Related Research Articles

Method Man American musician and actor

Clifford Smith Jr., better known by his stage name Method Man, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is known as a member of the East Coast hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. He is also one half of the hip hop duo Method Man & Redman. He took his stage name from the 1979 film Method Man. In 1996, Smith won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By", featuring American R&B singer Mary J. Blige, whom he currently stars with in Power Book II: Ghost, a spin-off of its original show Power.

<i>Space Jam</i> 1996 live-action/animated sports comedy film directed by Joe Pytka

Space Jam is a 1996 American live-action/animated sports comedy film directed by Joe Pytka and starring basketball player Michael Jordan. The film presents a fictionalized account of what happened between Jordan's initial retirement from the NBA in 1993 and his 1995 comeback, in which he is enlisted by the Looney Tunes to help them win a basketball match against a group of aliens who intend to enslave them as attractions for their theme park. Wayne Knight, Theresa Randle, and Bill Murray appear in supporting roles, while Billy West, Dee Bradley Baker, and Danny DeVito headline the voice cast.

Redman (rapper) American rapper

Reginald Noble, better known by his stage name Redman, is an American rapper, DJ, record producer, and actor. He rose to fame in the early 1990s as an artist on the Def Jam label.

<i>Beverly Hills Cop II</i> 1987 film directed by Tony Scott

Beverly Hills Cop II is a 1987 American buddy action comedy film directed by Tony Scott, written by Larry Ferguson and Warren Skaaren and starring Eddie Murphy. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop and the second installment in the Beverly Hills Cop film series. Murphy returns as Detroit police detective Axel Foley, who reunites with Beverly Hills detectives Billy Rosewood and John Taggart to stop a robbery/gun-running gang after Captain Andrew Bogomil is shot and seriously wounded.

<i>Grosse Pointe Blank</i> 1997 American film directed by George Armitage

Grosse Pointe Blank is a 1997 American black comedy crime film directed by George Armitage and starring John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin and Dan Aykroyd. Cusack plays an assassin who returns to his hometown to attend a high school reunion. The film received positive reviews from critics and grossed $31 million.

Dana Stinson, better known by his stage name Rockwilder, is an American hip hop record producer and rapper. A long term friend of Def Jam rapper Redman, Rockwilder got his start producing for East Coast hip hop artists in the mid-1990s. In 1999 Rockwilder produced Method Man & Redman's hit single "Da Rockwilder". He has produced at least one track on every Redman album since 1994's Dare Iz a Darkside.

<i>Blackout!</i> (Method Man & Redman album) 1999 studio album by Method Man & Redman

Blackout! is the debut studio album by American hip hop duo Method Man & Redman. It is the first full-length release by Method Man and Redman after many collaborations. The album continued a string of highly successful Def Jam releases in the late 1990s. The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with first week sales of 254,000 copies and served as a bit of a precursor to the 2001 major studio film How High. Both rappers enjoyed perhaps the height of their popularity as a tandem after the success of the album and its three charted singles. The singles were also popular videos which were mainstays on MTV and BET. The sequel to the album, Blackout! 2, was released on May 19, 2009.

<i>House of the Dead 2</i> (film) 2005 American film directed by Michael Hurst

House of the Dead 2 is a 2005 American action horror film and a sequel to the 2003 horror film, House of the Dead. Based on the video game series of the same name and was directed by Michael Hurst. It premiered at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain on October 14, 2005, and premiered in the United States on the Sci Fi Channel on February 11, 2006.

Saukrates

Karl Amani Wailoo, better known by his stage name Saukrates, is a Canadian rapper, singer, and record producer. He is the co-founder of Capitol Hill Music, and lead singer of the hip-hop/R&B group Big Black Lincoln. He is also a member of Redman's Gilla House collective.

<i>The Nutty Professor</i> (1996 film) 1996 American film directed by Tom Shadyac

The Nutty Professor is a 1996 American slapstick science fiction black comedy film starring Eddie Murphy. It is a remake of the 1963 film of the same name, which starred Jerry Lewis, which itself was a parody of Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The film co-stars Jada Pinkett, James Coburn, Larry Miller, Dave Chappelle and John Ales. The original music score was composed by David Newman. The film won Best Makeup at the 69th Academy Awards.

Herbert West–Reanimator 1922 horror short story by H. P. Lovecraft

"Herbert West–Reanimator" is a horror short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was written between October 1921 and June 1922. It was first serialized in February through July 1922 in the amateur publication Home Brew. The story was the basis of the 1985 horror film Re-Animator and its sequels, in addition to numerous other adaptations in various media.

How High (song) 1995 single by Method Man & Redman

"How High" is a song by American hip hop duo Method Man & Redman, released on August 15, 1995, as the duo's first single. It was originally featured on the soundtrack to the 1995 hip hop documentary film, The Show, and has since appeared on several compilation albums such as The Hip Hop Box and Def Jam's Greatest Hits, among several others. The song, produced by Erick Sermon, is the first official collaboration from longtime friends and East Coast rappers Method Man of Wu-Tang Clan and Redman of Def Squad, marking their debut as a duo. The song performed exceptionally well commercially, reaching number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single has since been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Dustin Lee Abraham is an American actor, producer and screenwriter. He penned the 2001 cult movie How High for Method Man and Redman. As of 2009, he produced and writes for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Method Man & Redman American hip hop duo

Method Man & Redman are an American hip hop duo, composed of East Coast rappers Method Man and Redman. They are signed to Def Jam Recordings both as solo artists and as a duo. While they had been collaborating since 1994, it was not until 1999 that they released a full-length collaborative effort, Blackout!. The follow-up album, Blackout! 2, was released in 2009.

<i>How High 2</i> 2019 film by Bruce Leddy

How High 2 is a 2019 American stoner comedy television film starring Lil Yachty and DC Young Fly. It is a sequel to the 2001 film How High and first aired on MTV on April 20, 2019. The film centers around two stoners who go on a mission to track down their missing marijuana and "weed bible". While the film does not feature the original film's stars Method Man and Redman, actors reprising their roles include Mike Epps, Al Shearer and T.J. Thyne.

<i>Blackout! 2</i> 2009 studio album by Method Man & Redman

Blackout! 2 is the second studio album by American hip hop duo Method Man & Redman. It was their first collaborative album in eight years. The album was released on May 19, 2009 under Def Jam. It debuted at #7 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and at #64 on the French Album Charts. The album has sold 178,608 copies in the United States by December 12, 2010, according to SoundScan.

<i>The Amazing Spider-Man 2</i> 2014 superhero film directed by Marc Webb

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a 2014 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The film was directed by Marc Webb and produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. It is the fifth theatrical Spider-Man film produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Entertainment, the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), and the final film in The Amazing Spider-Man series. The studio hired James Vanderbilt to write the screenplay and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to rewrite it. The film stars Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, alongside Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, and Sally Field. In the film, Peter Parker tries to have a friendship with Gwen Stacy as he investigates his parents' murder, while also dealing with the supervillain Electro and the return of his childhood friend Harry Osborn, who is dying from a deadly genetic disease.

<i>Solace</i> (2015 film) 2015 film by Afonso Poyart

Solace is a 2015 American mystery thriller film directed by Afonso Poyart and starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Abbie Cornish. The film was released on December 16, 2016, by Lionsgate Premiere. The film is about a psychic doctor, John Clancy, who works with FBI special agent Joe Merriwether in search of serial killer Charles Ambrose. The film's script was originally planned and developed as a sequel to the 1995 thriller film Se7en, but the idea was eventually scrapped and Solace was completed as a standalone film.

Mike Epps American actor, musician and comedian

Michael Elliot Epps is an American stand-up comedian, actor, film producer, writer, and rapper. He is best known for playing Day-Day Jones in Next Friday and its sequel, Friday After Next, and also appearing in The Hangover as "Black Doug". He was the voice of Boog in Open Season 2. As of 2010, Epps was the executive producer on a documentary about the life story of a former member of Tupac Shakur's Outlawz, Napoleon: Life of an Outlaw. He is also known for playing Lloyd Jefferson "L.J." Wade in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007).

<i>Overlord</i> (2018 film) 2018 American action horror film

Overlord is a 2018 American period action horror film directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith. It stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Gianny Taufer, Pilou Asbæk, Bokeem Woodbine and Iain De Caestecker. The film was produced by J. J. Abrams, through his Bad Robot Productions banner, and Lindsey Weber. The plot follows several American soldiers who are dropped behind enemy lines the day before D-Day and discover secret Nazi experiments.

References

  1. 1 2 "How High (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  2. Clark, Mike (December 20, 2001). "'How High': Weed it and weep, stoners". USA Today. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  3. Graham, Bob (December 21, 2001). "FILM CLIPS / Also opening today". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  4. Pastorek, Whitney (August 6, 2004). "Joint Ventures". Entertainment Weekly.
  5. "DAILY NEWS: Showtime's "Lift"; Stony Winners; and "Spooky" Plans – IndieWire". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  6. Cyrus Langhorne (14 October 2008). "New York: Redman Promises Fans New "Blackout" Album, "How High" Sequel Archived 2008-11-15 at the Wayback Machine ". SOHH . Accessed 27 November 2008.
  7. Danica Dow (April 26, 2009. "Exclusive: SOHH Exclusive: Redman Blames Universal For "How High 2" Delay, "They're Not Opening That Money Door"". SOHH . Accessed May 28, 2009.
  8. "[Watch Now] Redman Gives Live Interview on". Xxlmag.Com. April 20, 2011.
  9. Lilah, Rose. "Method Man Gives Update On Status Of". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  10. "Redman Reveals 'How High 2' Might Soar Into Theaters In 2017". Vibe. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  11. "Method Man & Redman's "How High 2" Still In The Works". hiphopdx.com. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  12. https://www.instagram.com/p/BovDn52HOCS/
  13. Petski, Denise; Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2019). "'How High 2': Mike Epps To Reprise Baby Powder Role In MTV Sequel; Premiere Date Set". Deadline Hollywood.