There are moments of high-level comic performance here, sadly they are not enough to fill a feature length movie (even at this short running time). The freewheeling spirit, colourful and sunbaked world is alluring enough to hold your attention, but the joke does wear thin.
As a straight forward comedy it's 3 stars but has to be bumped up because it caters to the stoner audience so well. Everything from the jokes, soundtrack, physical comedy, and message screams, "why aren't you smoking right now?" It found its niche and excelled to the highest level of that niche. Again, it can't be appreciated to its highest level sober, making it less universal to moviegoers.
Admittedly funny, I just didn't find myself freaking out over it. Blame the imitators that followed, my not seeing it in my 20s or the fact that I wasn't under the influence when I saw it but I didn't fall in love with this. The opening with Chong and his parents had me hyperventilating but anything else wasn't exactly memorable. Well maybe the courtroom scene.
The nadir of whatever counted for a counterculture movement in America. Produced in what was soon to be Reagan's America, where the run-off from the threadbare, exhausted left could only find expression in pantomime and buffoonery while in the thrall of cooptation. Still, and maybe this is just my sentimentality, there is something not altogether unfunny about Cheech and Chong together.