23 December 2011
A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS- Review
While the second movie picked up minutes after the first, this third instalment actually reunites our less than dynamic duo years after the hard-working Harold has upped sticks, married Maria and generally grown up. Meanwhile, Kumar is still getting high on his couch, while mourning his failed relationship and his expulsion from medical school. Typically, their chance reunion on Christmas Eve sees Kumar accidentally burning down a prized Christmas tree belonging to Harold's father-in-law. The pair must go on one more chaotic adventure to find a replacement and save Harold's family Christmas.
Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies, as it was called in territories where the fast food chain White Castle isn't part of the consumer lexicon, set the tone for this series right off the bat. It cannily subverted any racial stereotypes associated with its leading men, who are Korean and Indian, respectively, and didn't get so tangled up in mocking racism and bigotry that it forgot to be a raucous stoner comedy either. The sequel, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay took an ill-advised swipe at the political climate of the country, and along the way, lost touch with the fact that you have to give jokes to stupid characters, like the Homeland Security nut played by Rob Corddry. Without actual jokes, stupid characters aren't funny, they're just stupid.
But things have changed just as much off-camera as in the actual story of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas- John Cho had a great breakthrough role as Sulu in Star Trek, and Kal Penn got a job at the White House, which is referenced in the new film. Likewise, the gag of having Neil Patrick Harris make regular cameo appearances began when he was most famous for his bit role in Starship Trooper and having starred in Doogie Howser, M.D. Since then, he's become a household name, if not a national treasure of some kind.
By now, writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg make no bones about the kind of equal opportunities offensiveness that has been perfected as an art form by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. While I'm fine with that in principle, I should probably defend my position on all those scenes in which an infant takes drugs. Having loathed The Change-Up for its unfunny infant endangerment scenes, can I really give Harold & Kumar a pass for its depiction of a baby that is variously introduced to marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy? Well... yes. I can give it a pass. The Change-Up was never funny, and this film isn't nearly as hopeless or even as mean-spirited.
And of course, a bit of lunacy is par for the course. The effect of drugs on the aforementioned baby is roughly proportionate to something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon, and the nimble succession of comic setpieces carries the film nicely. By now, it's almost so nuts, it's normal. As mentioned, the character development makes our heroes into the likeable anchors within this crazy world. As usual, it's weighted more towards Harold- if your father-in-law was as batshit insane as the brilliantly cast Danny Trejo, you'd probably turn to narcotics too.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is now showing in 3D (duh) at cinemas nationwide.
If and when you see A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, why not leave a comment below? Merry Christmas to all readers!
I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.