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Life is good for Jack, Carter and Harlan, three inept ne'r-do-wells who help run master dope-grower Malcoms flourishing marijuana plantation somewhere in northern California. But then Malcom is suddenly bumped off by a mysterious assailant, after a moment of panic, the naive trio decide to take over the business themselves. However, their lazy days on the dope farm have ill prepared them for the high-stakes game of finding buyers for millions of dollars of contraband. As they plunge into a shadowy new world of duplicity, double-dealing and danger, they soon find that they have gotten in way, way over their heads. But driven on by increasing greed and paranoia, it's too late to back out. Written by
Eva Tauzer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was marketed as a comedy but anyone who went into it expecting "Half Baked" was probably dissapointed. Instead of a mindless stoner-comedy, we get a good solid film that is equal parts drama/comedy/thriller. It's the story of a group of pot farmers who, after seeing their boss murdered, decide to cash in the crop for a cool 3 million. Needless to say, things turn out to be a bit more complicated than expected and getting the money takes a back seat to getting themselves out of this bind that they have done such a good job of getting themselves into.
The three central characters, Jack (Billy Bob Thornton), Carter (Hank Azaria) and Harlan (Ryan Phillipe) are working for Malcomn (John Lithgow), manning the pot farm, when Malcom is killed by his own helicopter pilot. Thinking they know way more than they actually do, they decide to take charge of the situation and finish out the job. Jack poses as Malcomn (none of Malcomn's customers have ever actually seen what he looks like) and becomes the natural leader while Carter and Harlan bumble around doing the grunt work.
Things go a little over Jack's head when mob boss "Gionni the wop" (played hilariously by Ted Danson) enters the picture. Pretty soon it's paranoia time for the three stooges and their mutual girlfriend Lucy (Kelly Lynch), fighting off rippers, avoiding hitmen, and trying to find a buyer, all without getting caught by the feds (all the local cops are paid off).
There are many plot twists in Homegrown and the acting is great from a huge ensemble cast. Hybrids like this rarely work completely and Homegrown does sputter occassionally. There are a few scenes that leave you wondering if they are supposed to be funny. One thing that is highly overlooked and misunerstood about this film is how it makes you feel just like the characters. It totally succeeds in putting you in the same boat with them and making you feel the same things that they are feeling.
All in all, I give this movie a 9/10 and I highly reccomend it. It DOES NOT glorify the use and distribution of marijuana (many would like to argue that point) but merely uses it as a backdrop for what is going on. Give it a run. I especially reccommend this one to Billy Bob Thornton fans. He is so perfect in his role that you can almost smell the weed on him.
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