The premise for High School is so cleverly promising, filling the mind with so many smoke-filled ideas and jokes that the actual film seems more than a little disappointing. What gags and jokes regarding marijuana that are within this film just seem obvious, whereas much of the humor relies to heavily upon a cast which is not particularly known for comedic abilities. This isn’t to say that High School doesn’t have moments, but director John Stalberg Jr. doesn’t always know how to reign back his actors and much of the antics end up a little too goofy even for a stoner comedy.
Matt Bush stars as Henry Burke, valedictorian of his high school class until a reunion with an old friend puts his future at risk. The day after Henry smokes weed with his old friend Breaux (Sean Marquette), the school principal (Michael Chiklis) institutes a mandatory drug test for all students. Seeing no way of passing the test, instead Henry and Breaux come up with a plan to make everyone else in the school fail the test also. Replacing the brownies for a bake sale with a fresh batch of high grade marijuana brownies, the two friends are able to get the entire high school high.
Much of the film is not focused on the antics of the drug addled minds in the high school, however. Instead we are primarily focused on all of the sobering facts that Henry must take into consideration with these actions. There is the angry drug dealer they stole the marijuana from in order to bake the brownies, played by an almost unrecognizable Adrien Brody, as well as a vindictive principal and a competitive student trying to steal the valedictorian spot from Henry. Unfortunately, all of these take priority in the plot than any of the more humorous aspects of the film, such as the drug use. It is also a little bit distracting to watch Chiklis try so hard to be humorous. Try as he may, this is not his genre and no amount of fake hair can make him funny.
The Blu-ray release of this ambitionless stoner comedy comes with few perks. There is a rather dull commentary track by executive producer/co-writer/director Stalberg Jr., as well as a few deleted scenes which are no better than what was already in the film. This movie had promise but needed a steadier hand behind the camera, as well as a screenplay that took a few more risks.