For those of us who like to take our movies with a dab of … well, with a dab, it's not the worst thing in the world that comic book and superhero movies remain the dominant mode of Hollywood spectacle. The color, grandeur, melodrama, special effects, and humor — both intentional and unintentional — of the superhero genre tend to provide a viscerally, if not overwhelmingly, entertaining experience for the frequently-blitzed viewer.
And though the COVID-19 pandemic has made the future of mega-budget movies pretty damn uncertain, it doesn't look like comic-book films are loosening their grip on Hollywood anytime soon.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of movie watching while high: one, you're in a state to engage a richer, more intuitive emotional and intellectual experience, and two, you just let the hyper-sensory entertainment and visual euphoria wash over you in a pseudo-psychedelic haze. Both have their place, but superhero movies tend to offer the latter, more “recreational” experience when you're stoned.
If that's the sort of thing you're into, then check out nine superhero movies most fit for watching under the hyper-sensory impact of a cannabis high.
An unexpected gem of DC's divisive cinematic universe, Aquaman does the best thing a modern Hollywood blockbuster can do for its audience: it uses big-budget Hollywood magic to create something we haven't seen on the big screen before. From start to finish, Aquaman is almost nothing but tremendously dank CGI visuals, many of which look like the closest thing we'll ever get to a CG-animated Grateful Dead album cover.
Batman & Robin
Yeah, yeah, I know. Batman & Robin is supposed to be like the worst superhero movie ever and is most commonly known as the movie that put nipples on the batsuit, but it also happens to be very lit when watched in the right state of mind.
This '90s answer to the campy Adam West Batman of the 1960s, Batman & Robin is an absolute clusterfuck of everything a stoner could want in a superhero movie — wicked camera angles, extravagant costumes, sweeping shots through beautifully rendered, neon-saturated models of Gotham city, and a glowing action-figure-hued Arnold Schwarzenegger making bad ice puns to no end. Oh, and Uma Thurman slays as Poison Ivy, the DC Comics' version of our lord and savior Mary Jane.
Let's face it, if you smoke weed, Thor: Ragnarok should be your favorite Marvel movie. It's basically a live-action He-Man cartoon with the wit and humor of Flight of the Conchords. It's the movie that finally let Chris Hemsworth fully embrace Thor's humorous side and set Jeff Goldblum loose as, well, himself, but dressed as a Power Rangers villain.
It has also got wildly trippy special effects for days and a killer synth-heavy soundtrack from Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh — not to mention, two heavy-metal fight scenes set to Led Zeppelin's “Immigrant Song.”
Pair this movie with the right body-and-mind-engaging hybrid and it'll change your life.
Now a bona fide cult classic, Dredd was overshadowed by just about every other comic-book movie that came out in 2012: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises ... you get the picture. But stoners across reddit threads and message boards have already caught wise to the hazy pleasures of this mid-budget, R-rated, heavy-psych action flick. The film's plot — in which the brooding, always-helmeted Judge Dredd, played by Karl Urban, infiltrates a giant cyberpunk building where people are taking drugs that make reality feel like slow motion — offers ample opportunity for gorgeous stoner movie magic.
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Say what you will of Zack Snyder and his reactionary, chest-thumping superhero oeuvre, the guy knows how to make a true comic-book movie with uncanny and unrivaled CGI visuals.
Snyder's “complete,” 4-hour 2021 version of Justice League (aka “The Snyder Cut”) is one of the most divisive superhero joints that Hollywood ever rolled, but it's also an immaculate, dark-psychedelic vision of old-Hollywood-epic proportions, and well worth checking out under the influence of your favorite long-lasting edible or concentrate.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
For our 2019 Weedmaps News Stoned Oscars, we awarded Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse the title of “Trippiest Animated Film.” One of two 2018 superhero flicks — the other being Pixar's delightful Incredibles 2 — that proved animation is the optimal format for dank, kinetic superhero action, Spiderverse is a mind-melting trip through multiple dimensions of an unmistakably “comic book-y” Marvel universe.
The film's animation style — a stimulating pastiche of computer-generated imagery, comic book graphics, psychedelic street art, and more — borders on indescribable. There are plenty of great movies out there to get stoned to, but you honestly won't find a better high-watch than Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
This balls-to-the-wall sequel takes everything fun and entertainingly whack about the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, grinds it into a fine hash, and blows it out on-screen through a metaphorical pipe of kaleidoscopic cyberpunk action and candy-coated CGI dreamscapes. And like the first Guardians, the emotional beats and well-played character arcs are sure to make you tear up, even at your absolute stoniest.
Both Deadpool movies offer up a singular cocktail of irreverent humor, madcap action, frenetic ultraviolence, well-placed starpower, and Robocop-esque satire that goes down smooth when you're nursing a late-night joint.
While the first Deadpool film has the charm of a relatively modest budget and mid-scale focus that still feels fresh, it's the sequel that secures a spot on this list for tapping into a stoney, batshit sense of play with the tropes of hollowed-out Hollywood filmmaking.
It may not be a superhero movie in the strictest (or even loosest) sense of the word, but this garish mid-'90s Jim Carrey vehicle does answer the question: What would it be like if your superpower was being a live-action Looney Tunes character? If you're already well versed in the art of watching trippy old cartoons while stoned, The Mask's live action renderings of Tex Avery-style mindfuckery is a top-shelf experience.