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Film / How High

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No, not what the Yes-Man asks if his boss orders "Jump!"

How High is a 2001 stoner comedy directed by Jesse Dylan, starring Method Man and Redman.

Silas P. Silas (Method Man) and Jamal King (Redman) are two stoners living in the inner city. Silas is a weed grower, with aspirations of getting his own high tech growing lab. Jamal is just a lazy bum, living with his mom. After Silas's friend Ivory sets his new dreads on fire and falls out a window to his death, Silas decides to use his ashes in a special new weed, and take the THC's to get into college. Meeting Jamal there, they smoke it up, and discover they can see Ivory's ghost, and he can give them all the right answers. With perfect scores, the new friends are accepted into Harvard, much to the uptight Dean's dismay.

Tropes used in this film:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Even if that girl happens to be the Vice President's daughter.
    • Bonus points for being initially uninterested in Jamal because he's never committed a felony.
  • All There in the Script: The street name of Baby Powder's assistant is listed in the credits as "Baby Wipe".
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The classes of Reparations Technical Institute. Which range from from, 1) Hatred for the White Devil, 2) Advanced Hatred for the White Devil, and 3) Volleyball.
  • Ax-Crazy: Dean Cain becomes this at the end of the movie—complete with actual ax, no less—when he gets fired.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Ivory was shown getting burned by the fire due to passing out with the cigar that was in his mouth falling out and burning his dreadlocks, causing his entire body to ignite as he falls out of the window and shown hitting the pavement while the flames around his corpse engulf. It is later revealed after his demise that he actually survived the fire. What really killed him was an oncoming bus that ran him over after his celebration of temporary survival.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Silas is an overall nice guy, but when Jeffery bucks up and tries to pick a fight, he learns that Silas has a little ghetto toughness in him, courtesy of getting a screw in his head tightened by hand.
  • Blithe Spirit
  • Book Dumb: Silas. Even without a proper education, he's crossbred several varieties of marijuana to create cures for minor ailments such as bad breath, blue balls, crabs, and "limp dick", as well as an aphrodisiac. Subverted a bit later, when he gives Bart a schooling on proper English syntax.
  • Brain Bleach: When Gerald is searching Silas and Jamal's room for contraband during the costume party, he finds something under one of the beds—a used condom.
    Gerald: *making a verbal note to himself* Sterilize hands tonight. Sterilize hands tonight with anti-bacterial cream, many times.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jeffery.
    • Mostly brought on by himself, for going through a particularly shady hazing process at one of the fraternities.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Combined with Literal-Minded. Jamal doesn't quite seem to grasp what Women's Studies is about.
    Jamal: How did I fail Women's Studies?! I love bitches!
  • Celebrity Paradox: When Tuan confronts Baby Powder after the costume party, Powder asks him what he's listening to on his headphones, to which he replies "Wu Tang". One of the members of Wu Tang Clan is Method Man, the man who plays Silas.
  • The Cameo:
    • Rap group Cypress Hill as themselves at the party.
    • Chuck Lidell in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment at the party.
  • Dean Bitterman: Dean Cain
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Upon rolling into Harvard, Silas and Jamal get so distracted by booty, they drive straight into the school sign.
  • Fun with Acronyms: In this little exchange.
    Dean Cain: What are you wearing?
    Tuan: BUFU.
    Dean Cain: BUFU?
    Tuan: "By us, fuck you."
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Some of these are played at the beginning of the closing credits.
  • Homage: At times, it seems like I Need Money is channeling Harpo Marx.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: In one scene, Silas asks Lauren when she'll be telling Bart that "she sees him for the shallow bastard he is, and that she's leaving his ass for Silas", then the camera pans over as Silas leaves, showing Bart standing there seething quietly.
  • Imagine Spotting: Apparently, everyone could see the giant, pot-induced vision of Jamal's mom during the rowing meet.
  • In Vino Veritas: After a couple of pot brownies, Dean Cain goes from uptight uncle tom, to a funky-dancing, slightly foul-mouthed party animal.
  • Jerk Jock: Bart.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: Once, when Silas is admiring Lauren's historical artifacts while the two of them have a beer together, the romantic BGM is interrupted in this fashion when Bart walks in on them.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Jamal calls I Need Money by his moniker, because the day they met, he wrote down on a slip of paper "I Need Money."
  • Mighty Whitey: Lampshaded by the white African-American Studies professor, who bemoans Afro-Arab historical figures like Cleopatra and Jesus almost always being portrayed as caucasians.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: One of the scenes involves food falling onto the floor of the dean's office in a very dramatic slow-motion fashion.
  • The Napoleon: Dean Cain. Fittingly, at the staff's Halloween party, he's dressed as Napoleon, while his statue-esque (white) wife is dressed as Empress Josephine.
  • Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters: Silas acts more like a pharmacist than a drug dealer.
  • N-Word Privileges: Surprisingly averted. Silas makes sure everyone knows, no one is to say the N word around him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: At the end of the movie, I Need Money speaks.
  • Punny Name: Dean Cain
  • Rasputinian Death: Ivory. Unusual for a non-villain, he accidentally sets himself on fire, falls out a multi-story window, and is run over by a bus.
  • Record Needle Scratch: When Ivory's date meets him in person, with his new dreads, and his "Mark of Buddha"
    Woman: Oh, oh, HELL no!
  • Repetitive Name: Slias P. Silas.
  • Sticky Fingers: In the scene where Silas is making the "special brownies" for Dean Cain, I Need Money tries (but fails) to steal the milk bottle.
    • I Need Money is seen stealing many things over the course of the movie.
  • The Voiceless: I Need Money.
  • Too Much Information: While Silas' truth serum initially has a nasty side effect (see below), it nonetheless is very effective in loosening people's tongues.
    Tuan: When I was twelve, I used to love watching my dogs hump. We used to have a good time.
  • Truth Serum: Silas makes a new kind of this as his major project for his Botany class.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Tuan lets loose a geyser of vomit while helping Silas beta-test his truth serum.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Baby Powder and his assistant crash the Lovell House costume party in search of their "bitches", but Tuan is more amused than worried when he sees them there.
    Powder: *bursts into the room* Where my bitches at?!
    Tuan: You got the voice down, but those outfits no good!
    Powder: What's wrong with my shit?
    Tuan: Homie, puh-lease! Your Halloween costume! If you pimp, you broke pimp! Ha-ha-ha-ha!