Star Leaf (2015)
Synopsis: Hikers find a secret grove of extra-terrestrial marijuana and must fight for their lives when they anger the other-worldly forces protecting the plants.
Star Leaf starts off with 2 marines in Afghanistan. James (the sniper) and Tim (his spotter) They are camped out on a mountain side and they watch as 2 insurgents chase a woman and child to the top of another mountain. The insurgents gun down the woman and kidnap the child to use as a walking bomb. Tim repeatedly screams at James to take out the insurgents. Than the camera pans out until all you see is the mountains and a gun shot is heard.
The movie fast forwards 2 years to Tim and James driving through Washington with Martha (Tim's girlfriend). They are going to a beach to do some surfing as well as making a pit stop in Forks to do some Twilight tours for Martha. The numerous Twilight references were by far the worst part of this movie. Anyway, James is on leave and you can tell that something is a bit off about him. Tim on the other hand is no longer an active Marine and has since practice Hindu as well as becoming a full time stoner. Tim wants to make one other pit stop, to a cabin in the middle of woods so he can purchase a map to find the field of Star Leaf, a type of Marijuana that is literally out of this world. There are a couple of rules that one must abide by when they reach the field. No pictures/videos, no GPS, no taking any Star Leaf with you (but you can smoke as much as you want while your there), and you must burn the map when you are done. It goes without saying that once the Leaf is found, some rules are broken and all hell breaks lose. I literally can not describe anything that happens through the remainder of the movie for 2 reasons:
- I would spoil the movie for anyone who intends on watching
- I have NO IDEA what the hell was going on. Quite possibly because I watched this movie stone cold sober.
Now just because I have no idea what the hell was going on, doesn't mean I am going to say this was a bad movie. Hell, there have been tons of movies I've seen in my life that I have no clue what happened but I loved them. I wouldn't go so far as to say I loved this one, but I definitely did enjoy it. I didn't really get the horror/thriller feel from the movie but there was a nice even mix of drama and humor. Granted, most of the humor is provided by the stereotypical hippie/stoner character, Seth Guardrail Slaughter; the former biker who is now the provider of the maps.
Now there is one thing about this movie that really caught me off guard. Something I can only describe as a “reverse-stoner effect.” Everyone has that one stoner friend that gets high as hell, stares at some kind of object like a tree or the sky and comes up with some long back story about what it all means. Meanwhile, you are sitting there sober, listening to them ramble on some of the most idiotic things you have ever heard in your life.
Well when I watched this movie, through all the crazy confusion, what I really witnessed was an individuals take on PTSD and the struggles that soldiers face when they return home; as well as the multiple ways they attempt to cope with it. They don't come and say exactly what happened when James fired that shot in the beginning of the movie. But from the hints given, my assumption is that James shot the insurgent and inadvertently show and killed the little boy as well. Now James may have taken the shot but it was Tim who made the call. Both of them handle their stress in different ways. James is very stand-offish and easily aggravated. He is medicating with what appears to be prescribed anti-depressants. Tim on the other hand is hiding his pain. He gives off the vibe that he doesn't have a care in the world and nothing is bothering him. His form of medication, as we learned earlier, is copious amount of weed. And by the end of the movie, it was the weed that made James realize what he really needs to do to put his, and Tim's demons to rest. I have no idea the suffering that those dealing with PTSD go through on a daily basis. And I don't know if Marijuana would really be effective in helping those suffering cope with it. But those involved in making this movie clearly to believe it. And I must commend them on such an innovative way to spread their beliefs on the highly controversial topic.
Or than again, I may have read way to far in to just a typical movie about friends getting high. And any random stoner right now is reading what I got from this movie and thinking it is some of the most idiotic rambling he has ever heard in his life. Thus, my reverse-stoner effect.
reviewed by Bobby