Puff, Puff, Pass lives up to the image its title suggests. I have seen most of the stoner comedies out there. Name it, and nine times out of ten I have seen it. How I missed this gem from 2006 is simply a mystery. It features one of television’s most memorable stoners, Danny Masterson, who starred in Fox’s That 70’s Show as Steven Hyde. Masterson obviously channels Hyde as he plays Larry, a stoner whose self-proclaimed drug of choice is weed, a lot of weed.
The movie begins with Larry and his best friend and roommate Rico, dreadlocked Ronnie Warner, in their unkempt apartment. As they get high and watch television, they hatch a doomed business plan based on an infomercial. The business is “complex” and obviously unexplainable… by anyone, but sure to make them the back rent money they owe their landlord. But before they go into business for themselves, their main quest is to watch “The Shank” on TNT. I know the feeling; their Shawshank Redemption marathons have often sucked me in, absorbing several hours of my life.
This movie kept me laughing, and I found the writers did a great job of playing homage to Shawshank Redemption, a running gag throughout the entire movie. None of the acting will win any awards, but the main players understood their characters. Masterson isn’t the only standout. A pleasant surprise was the comedic star of Tyler Perry’s House of Pain, LaVan Davis. Davis plays a drug addict in a rehab that our heroes have checked into in order to have access to cable television (“The Shank”). He had me laughing with each of his well-delivered lines during group therapy and while he bogarts a joint smuggled into the facility by the two main characters.
Another familiar face was Terry Crews who was fantastic as the rapping thug, Cold Crush. A man as big as Crews dancing and rapping so badly with obvious sincerity, doubled me over with laughter. Mekhi Phifer delivered a fine performance as Big Daddy as well as being the rookie director. Knowing he performed both roles so well made me appreciate his work that much more. Phifer did a bang-up job, and I would seek out other movies with him in front of or behind the camera.
Puff, Puff, Pass is worth the price of a rental or the few bucks it costs to buy it on DVD. It deserves 4 ¾ stars out of 5 in the stoner comedy category. I think it might be close to the top ten of pothead laughs. It’s definitely repeatable. Don’t worry, I’m not saying it’s as good as a Cheech and Chong classic, but it’s definitely as rewarding as Smiley Face.
© Copyright Shain Knowles 2012