High There (2014)

hih thereDirector: Wayne Darwen, Henry Goren

Writer: Wayne Darwen (Screenplay)


Plot: A real-life attempt to film a reality television pilot turned into the most unreal experiences of a lifetime for veteran journalist and producer Wayne Darwen and videographer Henry Goren, when they found themselves transformed into the characters Dave High and Roland Jointz in an accidental immersive investigation of the marijuana wars on the island of Hawaii.  


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Party Time


Story: High There starts as David High a journalist and his cameraman Roland Jointz head to Hawaii to shot a new travel show but along the way David enjoys drugs, drinks and woman as they go to make their own story. It isn’t long before David and Roland find themselves being followed around the island as the island looks to clean up the drug problems on the island.

Dave goes around different ideas to make his show work but just can’t shake the drugs every day, where he makes each outing a party. David continues to learn about a bigger problem on the island dealing with marijuana.

High There is a documentary that wants to tackle the real problem of marijuana on the island in Hawaii, we only see small parts of this with most of the film being David High just wanting to smoke drugs and get drunk, this really takes away with what we want to learn about and it turns into just the life experience of the two men on the island. Not being a fan of drug usage I personally didn’t enjoy the almost glorification of using them during the adventure the men go on.



Director Review: Wayne DarwenWayne puts together the trip well to show the good, the bad and paranoia drugs cause people.


Documentary: High There is a documentary which also happens to play out as party holiday for David.

Settings: High There uses the Hawaii settings but most importantly showing how it isn’t all beauty we get led to believe.
: High There is one to try, it is very heavy on using drugs which isn’t something I enjoy. (Try It)


Best Part: Seeing the dark side of Hawaii.

Worst Part: Too much drug usage.


Believability: Based on the real trip the two men had.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Yes


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Trivia: Director, writer and star Wayne Darwen is a celebrated tabloid newspaper and television journalist and producer who was the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s character “Wayne Gale” in Oliver Stone’s 1994 film, Natural Born Killers.


Overall: Documentary that feels like it is a film party for the men involved.



11 comments on “High There (2014)

  1. Gret review. I had a similar criticism with regards to drug use and presentation in “Inherent Vice.” Though it was a drama/comedy and not a documentary, I still felt it could have been better without the “drug-like” haze throughout.

  2. Hey using pot is still better than getting boozed up in my professional pothead opinion, I wish they do a sequel with even more drug use. It’s real man, and so is life…

  3. I must agree, way too much drug use but even Cheech & Chong made several movies with way more drug use! A Bucket of Corn review said it best, “A Perfect Film” which was rated in the top ten best documentaries of 2015.

  4. I really enjoyed this film. Raw. Entertaining. Expect the unexpected. Be prepared for a journey that leads you to laughter and brings you to question how does Dave manage to do it? He lives life on the edge and seems to get every ounce of pleasure out if it! Along the way you meet a bunch of very interesting characters. It’s more than a documentary- it’s part adventure film, part reality TV show, comedy/drama/romance all rolled into one! A crazy ride! No need at all to be high for viewing- you don’t wouldn’t want to miss a word! There needs to be a Part Two!

  5. This film is whacked! If you’re lookin for something that’s real and something thats funny,rent or buy this movie..its real funny. Darwen is like Cheech and Chong, Hunter S. Thompson and Frank Drebin all rolled into one lovable fuzzball. His laughter is contagious and his self deprecating humor just may atone for his sins. I enjoyed feeling like a fly on the wall as he sinks into a fog of debauchery and paranoia against the wishes of his gas-masked sidekick, whos scenes in the driving rain at the Bates are also hilarious. Groovy soundtrack and there is an underlying theme that may or may not have been intended…we all take ourselves a little too seriously and could benefit from lightening up a bit. Laughter truly is the best medicine and I got some good medicine by watching this film. Its refreshing to see something thats not hollywood politically correct, staged, polished b.s. this is about as real as it gets,lo-fi down and dirty…more, give me more please….

  6. I love this movie. It made me laugh. Wayne Dawen is a character who needs to be seen to be believed. I saw this on-line and had to buy the dvd for myself. Darwen is a trailblazer, there is no other pot expert out there quite like him. I learned a lot (though this is NOT a “how to” film). “High There” is a movie that has to be seen to be believed, describing the plot doesn’t really do it justice.

  7. Not genre, I know. Basically listing it for its psychotronic qualities, and (well established) cult status. I could try to make a case for genre, but frankly it is not even worth it. The one thing that surprises me is that this is actually a real movie. I don’t find it particularly funny, (actually I lie: I thought the kaopectate and street brawl scenes were good, charming and intense even,) or that there is actually a sense to it all, (it’s mostly plot-less but pot-filled) other than maybe illustrating some drug culture anecdotes which others may find familiar or where others might find something to identify with. A real trip for sure. Four Stars

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