Got to love it when a bad comedy sums itself up and all but saves you the trouble of writing an entire review.
As in, “Guys, is this supposed to be funny, or not?”
That’s what Debbie (Alex Meneses) blurts out to best buds Harris (Russell Peters) and Reeves (Faizon Love) in “Ripped,” a comedy about two potheads who hit some “Area 51…CIA weed” in 1986, and wake up thirty years later.
Debbie used to date Harris, until her father chased the two blitzed boys away for being irresponsible bong brothers with an eye on ruining his baby girl.
Now, thirty years later, she’s a divorced single mom in her ’40s. And her first beau and his bro? Morbidly obese middle-aged teenagers.
“Ripped” is the sort of comedy that can ill afford to waddle through an interminable 16 minute prologue with two even less funny actors playing even more blitzed versions of Love and Peters as teens.
The guys wake up, morbidly obese (munchies will getya) in the Chevy van they got stuck in the woods with 30 years earlier, looking at the world as “the worst hallucination ever.” Reeves is now rocking a gut butt, Harris is trending plump, and the world? It’s left them behind.
Plug-in cars, cell phones, self-flushing toilets, “Goggle” and people talking to them from “Planet Skype?” How’s a mellow bro supposed to take this all in? Weed is LEGAL.
“Welcome to Home De-Pot. How can I medicate you?
Harris tries to re-start things with an indulgent Debbie, but she has a kid, whom they meet in spite of her best efforts. Sophomoric reactions is all they’re capable of.
“Debbie’s been f—–g. Here’s the receipt! Brad (Bridger Zadina)!”
No college, no cash, never had any ambition, they cook up the one idea guys who stay blasted and peckish can manage — a restaurant that serves chili, just chili — but chili spiced with marijuana. It creates its own cravings for that second serving, right?
One of the rare laughs in the movie is the one loan officer who agrees to back them, because “You guys have really good credit, too. Nothing pops up!”
Peters and Love are two guys who fall into that “Whatever happened to?” corner of the comedy universe. Nobody rocks the gut-butt like Love (“Couples Retreat,””Zookeeper”), but here he’s a little too convincing at trying to act in a movie stoned. Was he?
Peters reaches for charming, showing off DJing and roller-blading skills like a guy who never grew up.
But there’s nothing for these guys to play that doesn’t involve a pipe and a lighter, and there’s something inherently sad in middle aged stoners that isn’t a downer when the stoner is AARP age, for instance.
Even the lads’ bank pitch, a “history” of pot and its famous users (George W., Franklin, Bill Clinton, Obama, etc.) feels played, though its assault on the “gateway drug” ad campaign recently hurled into theaters in states where legalizing pot is on the ballot, is almost almost cute.
“It IS a gateway…to PANCAKES, Cinnabons” and of course, chili.
MPAA Rating: TV: MA, drug use, scatological humor, profanity
Cast: Faizon Love, Russell Peters, Alex Meneses, Farah White, Stephanie Drapeau
Credits:Directed by Brad Epstein, script by Billiam Coronel, Brad Epstein. A Screen Media/Netflix release.
Running time: 1:28