Far Out Man (1990) – Review

3 Stars

There is an endearing quality to Far Out Man, which beginnings with the screen credit a Tommy Chong attempt. That is an apt description for this manic, energetic and oft riotously funny romp. I admit to not being much of a fan of Cheech & Chong. Their movies never lived up to the modest pleasures of Up in Smoke, and the comedy seemed dated even in its prime. So why is it that Far Out Man is so damn enjoyable?

Of course we aren’t talking about a comedic masterpiece but a screen adventure featuring a lead that is more likeable than say Paulie Shore, or any other pop culture comedian making quasi-stoner comedies during this era. It’s worth noting that these 1990s comedies don’t go full stoner, it is implied by the behavior of characters, yet we rarely see toking taking place on camera. As most suspect that isn’t the case with any movie featuring Tommy Chong.

Several of Chong’s real life family play parts in the movie, including his son-in-law C. Thomas Howell, making an off-the-wall appearance in a rare comedic role. The almost non-existent plot meanders at times with too many lapses into absurdity and a couple of bits are recycled from the comedic duo’s best-selling albums. Far Out Man doesn’t display any particularly finesse or style in terms of timing or staging. More jokes and gags fall flat than score, although credit must also be given to Chong for throwing so much at the screen and seeing what sticks. Perfectly enjoyable time waster and the last good movie Tommy Chong has appeared in.

Directed by Tommy Chong
Stars: Tommy Chong, C. Thomas Howell, Rae Dawn Chong

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