28 Oct AKA Tommy Chong – Review: Land of the Free…Sort of
FlixFling contributing reviewer Rebecca Raymer makes her case for AKA Tommy Chong:
AKA Tommy Chong (2006, directed by Josh Gilbert, starring Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin, Selby Chong, Lou Adler, and Paris Chong) documents the federal prosecution of Tommy Chong by the United States government. Following 9/11, the U.S. attorney’s office identified organizations in which drug paraphernalia is produced and sold, and determined them to be enemies of peace and freedom. Tommy Chong, financial backer and promoter of Chong Glass/Nice Dreams, an American family-run business that legally sells glass bongs online, is a primary target.
The focus of two different investigations (“Operation Pipe Dream” and “Operation Headhunter”), the Chong family finds itself tangled up in an elaborate and expensive ruse carried out by the federal government. Personal and political agendas are continuously suggested as the motivations behind the government’s inexplicable and zealous pursuit of one of its most peaceful citizens.
Despite expectations of this film being a vehicle to garner support for the use and legalization of marijuana in the United States, Tommy Chong does little to emphasize his support of any political movement. Instead, the film primarily focuses on the issues of Constitutionality and the influence of dirty politics over every day citizens.
The post-9/11 atmosphere in the United States has resulted in the sacrifice of many individual freedoms. However, those sacrifices were made to defend the idealistic principals of the American way of life, not to target and prosecute American citizens who publicize their disdain for our government. Tommy Chong himself summed up his own situation – and its implications for our country – very succinctly when he said, “Yeah, you’re free, but not really.”