Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Let me say first off in this review of ‘Puff, Puff, Pass’, that it is a fairly amateurish, poorly edited, overlit, mess of a movie and first time director, actor Mehki Phifer doesn’t show a hell of a lot of promise as a film director.  But damn it all to hell, this nonsense made me laugh.  I will admit that sometimes I was laughing at the movie, sometimes with the movie, but it was a comedy, and no matter how it squeezed the chuckles out of me, out they nonetheless came.  Take ‘comedies’ such as the anemic ‘Date Movie’, the equally horrid ‘Epic Movie’, or the complete waste of celluloid that was ‘Van Wilder 2’, films which didn’t even cause me, a person who is fairly easy to entertain, to even crack a smile.  ‘Puff, Puff, Pass’ though, well, got the laughs out.  And I wasn’t drinking when I watching it either.

In the spirit of classics such as ‘Half Baked’ or ‘Up in Smoke’, ‘Puff, Puff Pass’ tells the intriguing story of stoners Rico (Ronnie Warner) and Larry (Danny Masterson) who are on the verge of getting evicted from their apartment.  Fortunately, they’ve seen an infomercial from huckster Jerry DuPree (John C. McGinley) who promises them riches with his tiny ad business.  But being as they have nowhere to live, they get the bright idea to hole up in a rehab center.  Crazy stuff happens there which leads to them getting evicted, but having met Big Daddy (Phifer), they agree to be the go between in selling some of his wooden nickels in a scam involving Big Daddy’s girlfriend Elise (Ashley Scott) and her accomplice, hopeful rapper Ice Cold Crush (Terry Crews).  Toss in a couple of transvestites, a horny Jesus freak, an homage to the Pulp Fiction rape scene and lots of ‘Shawshank Redemption’ references, and we have one hell of a mixed up confusing mess.

Critical Dude says that there was absolutely no cohesion to any of the elements in the ‘story’ of this ‘film’ as the ‘movie’ merely jumped from stupid skit to the next.  Critical Dude says that it looks as if this movie was edited by a guy with a couple of Beta Maxes as it was one the sloppiest edits of any movie I have EVER seen with characters out of position from one shot to the next, a guy looking to the left in a closeup then to the right in the over the shoulder shot and so on and so on.  Critic Dude says that the lighting guy obviously setup his lights and then went home.  The lighting was flat and bright, similar to an episode of Laverne and Shirley.  As a matter of fact the entire production from the lighting, look, pacing and writing just had SITCOM written all over it.  If they didn’t say ‘fuck’ so much and maybe added a laugh track, it could have followed ‘Square Pegs’ in the Tuesday at 8:30 time slot. Critical Dude also says that though Mekhi Phifer is a fine actor who’s done great work in movies such as ‘A Lesson Before Dying’ and was the only good thing in ‘Imposter’, maybe, perhaps film direction isn’t his calling.

Now that that pesky Critical Dude has gone to sleep, Easily Entertained Dude will tell you that watching Terry Crews freestyle rap as Ice Cold Crush Killa was hilarious, and he also does the tea kettle robot, which will always be funny.  Easily Entertained Dude will also tell you that he laughed his ass off at the scene with the fat chick in the rehab center, and that though it is conceivably the most offensive scene ever, the scene with Rico, the mayor’s daughter, and the Crown of Thorns was pretty damn funny too.  Easily Entertained Dude will also have you know that Larry’s brother trying to mack on a tranny had some serious comedic elements to it, and how bad can movie be with cameos from washed up former child actors Jaleel White and David Faustino.  Though Easily Entertained Dude thinks that Ashley Scott is a lovely, lovely woman, he does ponder that if her eyes were just one inch further apart, they would be on the sides of her head.  Of course that’s neither here nor there, but irregardless (was curious to see if Word would drop a red underline under that, and it did) Easily Entertained Dude will grant you that more jokes failed, miserably by the way, than succeeded, and some may have trouble getting past the suspect production values.  Easily Entertained Dude didn’t and he laughed out loud more than once.

As we have said on more than one occasion, this ain’t art, and if that’s what you’re looking for in your movies, then I suggest you wait patiently for another Jane Austen novel to be translated to screen.  Until then, the brain dead among us will sit back idly, watch life pass us by and enjoy hilarious crap like ‘Puff, Puff, Pass’.

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