It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. In 2001, actor-vegan-stoner-activist Woody Harrelson biked down the West Coast, stopping at college towns to preach his vague and variegated gospel: energy conservation and vegetarianism (good), logging and globalization (bad), and so on. Following Harrelson on this SOL (Simple Organic Living) Tour were his personal assistant, his yoga instructor, his raw-food chef, and assorted hangers-on, aboard a hemp-fueled bus christened The Mothership. Documentarian Ron Mann shot the whole trip, presumably in the hopes that something interesting would happen. Unfortunately nothing does.
Mann’s fuzzy-headed Cannabis Cup travelogue Grass at least didn’t stray far off-message. Go Further meanders—narratively as well as geographically—all over the map. When Harrelson and his Merry Hempsters make a pilgrimage to Ken Kesey’s farm, Mann belabors the obvious connection by splicing in ’60s footage. It only makes us wish we’d boarded Kesey’s bus instead. Out-of-the-blue musical interludes by Natalie Merchant (Maniac-free), Anthony Kiedis (sans Chili Peppers), living Dead Bob Weir, and others constitute non sequiturs only a true pothead could appreciate. Buzzkill alert: One of Harrelson’s groupies has to sneak out to score junk food without the vegan cultists finding out. Who knew pro-hemp activists could be so anti-munchies?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 9, 2004