The 420 Movie

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
The 420 Movie Movie Poster Image
Crass, cliched stoner comedy has drugs, nudity, cursing.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 81 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

An incredibly stupid and humorless movie. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

 Lead characters are two-dimensional at best, secondary characters include a womanizing gambling addict father, a character nicknamed "Roofie Amy" earned due to her ability to ingest massive amounts of drugs, a cop who makes jokes about sexual harassment and rape. 

Violence

One of the recurring attempts at humor concerns an African American police officer who is eager to avenge police racism in America by racially profiling of white people. He pulls over a white family from Florida, and after making reference to the "Stand Your Ground" laws in the state, gropes the mom, says "rape ain't nuthin' but foreplay," then makes a joke concerning the possible statutory rape of the tween daughter. A flashback scene shows how an employee at the dispensary, "Roofie Amy," got her nickname; a guy puts roofies in her beer when she's not looking, and it has no effect on her, and the guy's attempted date rape is unsuccessful, and later joked about by the guy and his friends at a party. Attempted robbery of the dispensary at gunpoint. 

Sex

Gratuitous brief female nudity: A bikini-clad woman exposes her breasts to a character after he has forgotten her name; he then remembers that her name is "T-tiana." Women are shown as sex objects, wearing only bikinis while hanging off the mayor. He's shown receiving oral sex from a woman under his desk, and there's mention of how he has sex with prostitutes. One of the lead characters has sex in a closet at a party. Characters shown about to have sex in a shower during a party. Brief male nudity, nonsexual (buttocks). Parents of one of the dispensary workers talk about playing Yahtzee as a sex game. Lead character wears a sexually suggestive t-shirt. 

Language

Constant profanity. Almost every word is used, including "f--k," "motherf---er," and the "N" word. 

Consumerism

Obnoxious product placement of Sir Richard's Condoms. Facebook, Craigslist referenced. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Marijuana use in every scene. Any character with a line of dialogue in the movie smokes weed, as well as the vast majority of those who don't have any lines of dialogue. In addition to the weed smoking, cocaine use and binge drinking. A character named "Roofie Amy" has that nickname due to her ability to ingest large quantities of drugs without passing out. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The 420 Movie is a 2020 stoner comedy in which two sisters try to save their father, his business, and their town by creating a better way to get extremely high. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of marijuana use -- characters are getting high in practically every scene, and every major (and most minor) character is rarely shown without smoking joints or taking hits off the "electric blunt." There's also cocaine use and binge drinking. One of the characters is named "Roofie Amy," and it's revealed that she earned that nickname by catching a guy at a party attempting to spike her beer with roofies, and asking what other drugs he has, and proving herself capable of ingesting large amounts of drugs without passing out. (This flashback scene of attempted date rape is later joked about by the guy who attempted it to his friends at a party.) Jokes about rape, statutory rape. Constant profanity, including "f--k," "motherf---er," and the "N" word. The father of the two lead characters is a gambling addict and womanizer, often shown surrounded by scantily-clad women who are basically sex objects. Brief female nudity (breasts), brief male nudity (buttocks). Basically, when the movie isn't a massive assemblage of stoner movie cliches, it tries to go for crass humor in the vein of American Pie-style comedies. 

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What's the story?

In THE 420 MOVIE (also known as The 420 Movie: Mary & Jane), Jane Hightower (Lindsey McKeon) has just returned to Humbolt (sic) County, California from dropping out of college in New York City to help run the marijuana dispensary operated by her sister Mary. Their father, Mayor Edgar J. Hightower (Daniel Baldwin), is a womanizer and gambling addict, and when his gambling debts spiral out of control, he's in danger of losing his town and his cannabis farm to a three-foot-tall Mexican drug lord (Verne Troyer). Fortunately, Mary and Jane have just the solution to raise the needed funds. They have created an "Electric Blunt" and a more potent strain of marijuana. These creations are so incredible, even the jaded weed smokers of Humbolt County will gladly pay $25 for each hit. Now, Mary and Jane must attend a blowout party and raise the necessary funds to pay off the Mexican drug lord, one hit at a time. 

Is it any good?

This movie is a powerful counterargument to those who claim that marijuana use leads to enhanced creativity. The 420 Movie is an uninspired mess of endless weed and drug cliches, crass humor, and gratuitous sex jokes. There isn't a single moment in this movie that even produces the smallest, barely whispered ha-ha. Of course, someone watching a movie like this doesn't have the expectation of witty repartee and sophisticated observational humor for refined intellects, but there's an expectation that there will be at least one marginally funny moment. This is about as far-removed from "stoner comedy" classics like the Cheech & Chong movies and Friday as you can get. 

There's a self-awareness throughout the movie that reveals that everyone involved is aware that they were making a stupid movie, but this awareness doesn't extend to seeing that they were also making something completely humorless. The cameo from Riff Raff almost breaks up the monotony. Perhaps the only good thing to say is that the acting mostly isn't awful. But aside from that, there's nothing else remotely positive to say about this incredible waste of time and celluloid. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about comedies that fail. What makes a movie that attempts to be funny not funny? How is this subjective? 

  • How is The 420 Movie similar to many other "stoner comedies?" How is it different?

  • How is sex used as a source for gratuitous humor throughout the movie? Aside from the two lead characters, how are women presented? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love goofy tales

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