Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (1980) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: R for pervasive drug use, language, sexuality, and nudity
Running Time:95 min.
Cast: Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Paul Reubens, Evelyn Guerrero, Betty Kennedy, Sy Kramer, Rikki Marin, Edie McClurg, Bob McClurg, Michael Winslow (cameo), Phil Hartman (cameo), Rita Wilson (cameo), Cassandra Peterson (cameo)
Director: Tommy Chong
Screenplay: Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin
Review published July 23, 2005
With such a generic title, you'd probably wonder exactly what Cheech & Chong's Next Movie is all about. After watching this for the entire 90+ minute running time, I still couldn't tell you. I would gather that fans of Cheech & Chong probably couldn't care less -- it's Cheech and Chong! No need to know anything else!
Other than the fact the Cheech & Chong are funny guys themselves, Next Movie is actually a very bad movie in all other respects. If there is a plot, I'm at a complete loss as to what it is. There are only a couple of developments: Cheech tries to nail a hottie named Donna while Cheech's cousin Red (also played by Marin) heads to the city with Chong and they get into all kinds of trouble.
Next Movie feels much more like the deleted scenes of their first and much funnier film, Up In Smoke, than it does as a stand alone piece. Most scenes have little in terms of pushing forward a story, merely existing to show us how a couple of dumb stoners make asses of themselves, including accidentally imbibing urine, urinating on their nosy neighbor, and sing songs that are as seemingly ad-libbed as every other aspect of the movie. There's no way you could convince me that this movie started rolling film with a completed script, as every character, scenario, and line of dialogue feels entirely random, and most of them go on interminably longer than they need to.
Although it is relatively short in duration, Cheech & Chong's Next Movie is padded to excess, and the initial buzz of seeing the funny duo once again wears off long before the first half hour passes. After this, it all goes to pot (no pun intended), with Cheech's Red convincing me that the duo were growing tired of their own shtick halfway through, and were desperate to create another persona in the hopes that new jokes would develop. The only jokes that do exist are mostly familiar and tired ones that Cheech must have been reading out of a dirty joke book, willing to go to no ends to try to get a laugh, even if the joke isn't his own. Chong directs for the first time, and he's obviously clueless -- he must have directed off-screen with his on-screen persona.
There are a few funny moments, but not enough to make this a worthwhile experience for anyone that isn't a die-hard fan, or completely high themselves at the time they watch it. Next Movie is lazy, lacks ambition, and is consummately scattershot in its thinking -- just like your stereotypical stoner. Don't watch this unless you're more stoned than Chong.
-- Followed by Nice Dreams and Things are Tough All Over.
©2005 Vince Leo