The first Harold & Kumar movie had its moments, but I didn’t think it was great comedy. A friend told me that I was one of the few critics that didn’t care for that, or Dazed & Confused (love the Led Zeppelin song, just not the movie). He thought maybe the fact that I’ve never smoked pot is why.
I told him that wouldn’t explain my love of The Doors, Cheech & Chong movies, Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High); or the fact that I liked Caddyshack, and have never touched a golf club.
I never belonged to a frat when I went to SDSU, but I loved Animal House. And I’m guessing people that have never boxed, have enjoyed movies like Rocky and Cinderella Man.
The second Harold & Kumar movie got by me (I was washing my hair that day), and it was with much reluctance I went to this 3-D version. I missed the press screening and after it was out, I was with a bunch of friends that left TGIFridays at 10:30, and it was the only movie starting.
What a pleasant surprise.
It might surprise folks that go in expecting to bring the family to a funny Christmas film. This is no Christmas Story (although they do a very bizarre parody of it; it’s not a tongue that gets stuck to a frozen pole outside!)
The movie also has offensive things to just about every race and religion imaginable.
Here’s the story: the two stoners have gone their separate ways (no Journey reference intended). Harold is now a rich Wall Street trader (that sometimes needs protection from former San Diego comedian Bobby Lee).
Kumar is a loafer that sits around getting stoned, and going to parties with a nerdy neighbor who has met a girl online that he thinks wants to lose her virginity to him (that goes in a direction you wont’ see coming).
Kumar receives a package (a huge joint, what else?). He has to deliver this to Harold, who is fretting over the Fir that his overbearing father-in-law has been growing for eight years (he won’t tolerate a “faux fir” that’s painted white). That father-in-law, in a bit of brilliant casting, is played by Danny Trejo (Machete).
When the guys light up, it lights up the tree. This means instead of a quest to get White Castle burgers, they are after Firs.
Obviously we see Neil Patrick Harris, doing his crazed sexual character again, in what is easily the most disgusting and hysterical scene he’ll probably ever do on film.
An actor and writer that always makes me laugh when he appears on screen, Reno! 911’s Tom Lennon, as the new BFF. And how can you not love comedian Patton Oswalt as a drug dealing Santa?
Character actor Richard Reihle (the unlucky, or lucky guy, in Office Space) plays the real Santa Claus (he played Santa in another movie – The Hebrew Hammer).
Combine all this fun with 3-D that has pot smoke blowing towards the audience, as well as a variety of other things. There’s a claymation scene which is mildly amusing.
Stoner comedies are a tough sell, as they’ve been done to death at this point. I can tell you, I’ve been criticized like most critics, for “not liking any comedies.” And I found myself laughing like Beavis.
This movie isn’t for the easily offended, or children under 14. It gets 3 ½ out of 5 stars.
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