Grading Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg’s Mac & Devin Go to High School
Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg made a movie. It’s called Mac & Devin Go to High School. It’s one of those straight-to-DVD/VOD affairs. And I rented it and watched it because it’s part of my job because I am not very good at being alive.
M&DGtHS is an indie film. It came out this most recent Tuesday. As mentioned, it stars Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg. They play high school kids. Fundamentally, it’s no different than, say, Kid ‘n Play’s 1992 movie Class Act (smart kid has to team up with bad kid so the bad kid can learn to be smart and the smart kid can learn to be bad and they both learn life lessons along the way). But let’s run through a few gems from it anyway. One per grade level:
The very first thing said in the movie is, “Man, this girl’s trying to fuck up my dick.” It’s delivered by a CGI joint (FOR REAL) named Slow Burn, voiced by Mystikal (FOR REAL). That’s the same way they started Schindler’s List, too, in case you were wondering.
More on Slow Burn: He pops up occasionally during the movie to give commentary. At the end of the film, he soliloquizes about how joyful and fantastic weed is, how geniuses smoke it, and how the world would be a better place if everyone else did, too. In my head, I imagine they were like, “Yeah, he’ll give this grand speech and it’ll be so profound and moving that everyone will stand up and applaud.” Mostly, I just wanted him to shut the hell up.
Outside of music videos, this is the first time Wiz Khalifa has acted (unless you count how he acts like Amber Rose isn’t the worst thing of all, in which case he’s a young Morgan Freeman). Snoop, however, has been in a grip of films. His four seminal roles: the reincarnated gangster in Bones, the pilot in Soul Plane, the paraplegic drug dealer in Training Day, and the boob enthusiast in Girls Gone Wild: Doggy Style. (See the Character Range chart above for role analysis and corresponding placement for Mac & Devin.)
Snoop plays Mac, arch hustler and the school’s marijuana peddler. He’s been a senior at the school for 15 years, a potential plot problem that they eliminate early on by implying that he’s avoided expulsion because he routinely has sex with the principal, played by Luenell, whom you’ll maybe remember as the obese hooker with whom Borat nearly falls in love in Borat.
More on the age thing: If Snoop is a 15-year senior, that puts him in his early 30s in the movie, and that’s fairly close since he’s 40 in real life. But for real, he looks like he’s about 600 years old. I remember I ran into Snoop once at the mall. I talked to him for six or seven minutes before I realized I’d just been talking to an old leather massage chair in Brookstone. He’s like a cross between Huggie Bear and David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China.
The antagonist in the movie is the assistant principal. His name is a slang term for a penis. The guys who wrote The Wire must’ve worked on this screenplay a little.
Wiz plays a brainy student named Devin Overstreet. He is the likely valedictorian of the school’s senior class (there are about 15 kids enrolled, it looks like). Overstreet’s most pressing concern is that he hasn’t had enough life experience to deliver a truly exceptional speech at graduation, which is important because someone from Yale might possibly be there watching and handing out scholarships. Because that’s how and when they hand out scholarships to Yale. Based on speeches. At graduation.
(P.S. Wiz isn’t a great actor, but he is unconscionably charming. Probably the big takeaway from this whole thing.)
After getting paired up to work on the year’s final project, Snoop eventually gets Wiz high (by giving him weed brownies). After a bit of wonkiness, they break into song, as told through a vision of them participating in the school’s talent show. It’s shot through an Instagram-y lens and recalls Snoop’s excellent “Sensual Seduction” video. Good stuff.
Mike Epps’s cadaver is in the movie. Remember when he used to be funny? Man, what happened? Weren’t people saying he was supposed to be the next great black comedian several years ago? … Oh, wait. No one was saying that? OK, good. Then you all were right.
Here’s something that an actual human says in the movie: “You want a date with me? You need to graduate high school.” That comes from Teairra Mari, who plays a substitute teacher and Snoop’s love interest. She says it to him. But here’s the weird thing: She doesn’t say it in a condescending manner (LIKE SHE ABSOLUTELY SHOULD). She says it in a sassy, flirty style. It’s the most unintentionally amusing part. I kept picturing her saying similarly depressing things: “You want a date with me? You’re gonna have to pay down one of my warrants”; “You want a date with me? You need to wait for these herpes to go into remission.” “You want a date with me? You need to buy me that new Future album.”
At one point, Snoop is leading a contest with several of the students in which they have to blow the most interesting thing with marijuana smoke. It starts out normal enough (French inhaling, rings, etc.) but spirals quickly out of control (a smoke version of Saturn; a smoke gun that shoots smoke bullets; a smoke ghost). The finishing move: A girl inhales from the joint WITH HER ASS and then blows out brown smoke … NOT DONE YET … that Andy Milonakis shotguns. Remember the part in John Q where Denzel is talking to his son in the hospital right before he’s about to kill himself so his son can live? This is like that.
There is a Wiz Khalifa sex scene. REPEAT: THERE IS A WIZ KHALIFA SEX SCENE.
Note: During the opening monologue, Slow Burn the Talking Joint mentions that the movie won’t be good if you don’t watch it while you’re high, and it being a “weed movie,” it seemed that was a fair enough assertion.
So, since I’d watched the movie low, I called a guy that I know from a place to help. I explained that his role was to rent the movie and watch it high. Then he was to fill out a blank report-card template that I was going to e-mail him and send it back when he was done. We’d compare the results and see what was what.
Two hours after I’d sent him the template, he sent it back. The movie is barely an hour, so it made sense; frankly, I was impressed that he’d spent an hour filling it out. But then I opened the attachment. And it was this.
Shea Serrano is a writer based in Houston. He is a columnist for the Houston Press and L.A. Weekly, and has written for XXL, SLAM, URB, the Village Voice, and more.