Stoner-friendly B-movies don’t come much closer to producing a contact high than this dastardly little comedy. Without an original bone in its get-the-whole-school-high plot device, “High School” follows freshly reunited best friends Henry (Matthew Bush) and Travis (Sean Marquette). Even though Matthew Bush’s glazed-over eyes predict otherwise, Travis is the hardcore stoner of the pair. Henry has a shot at valedictorian if he doesn’t stray too far from the straight and narrow path he’s been pursuing throughout his high school career. All that goes out the window when a well-disguised Michael Chiklis — as school principle Dr. Leslie Gordon — announces school-wide drug testing. Brilliant Travis hatches a scheme to steal a mighty quantity of distilled THC from his local dealer Psycho Ed (Adrien Brody), a tattooed piece of work straight out of Rikers Island prison. Travis bakes up several pans of brownies that he substitutes at the school bake sale, and voila — nearly every faculty member and student is quite properly baked. With all drug-testing results effectively nullified, the only thing left to do is pay back Psycho Ed, who comes calling for the boys after discovering his loss. The film’s guiltiest pleasure derives from watching Colin Hanks play stoned as school administrator Brandon Ellis. A dearth of stoner movies in recent years makes “High School” an automatic guilty pleasure, but only by default.
Rated R. 93 mins. (B-) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)
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