A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas Review

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  • A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas film still

Score

Not nearly as subversive as it purports to be, but fittingly witty and wintry nonetheless.

Christmas Eve. It’s been six years since Harold and Kumar escaped from Guantanamo Bay. What happened in the interim is a (purple) haze, but the bong buddies have apparently gone their own separate ways. Scratch that – Kumar (Kal Penn) hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s the same old stoner spending most of his days 'not low'. Harold (John Cho), however, has swapped the doobies for domesticity.

When a mysterious package addressed to Harold arrives on Kumar’s doorstep, his attempt to redirect it ends in flames, destroying Harold’s Christmas tree. Which his terrifying Latino father-in-law (Danny Trejo) grew from a tiny sapling. Smoking trees, but not as they’d like it.

The ensuing search for a replacement to save Harold's Korean cojones lead the pair to run afoul of the Ukrainian mob, shoot Santa in the face, dance in a Broadway extravaganza, inadvertently introduce a baby to cocaine and, of course, a Neil Patrick Harris cameo, who's ditched the ecstasy (White Castle) and shrooms (Escape from Guantanamo Bay) for crack cocaine. It also turns out that his homosexuality is a ploy to pull girls ("I am gay. Gay for that pussy!")

But behind the subversive xxx-mas veneer, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is safe, seasonal schmaltz. Aside from a brief, tepid acknowledgment of America’s increasing class conflict and the Occupy movement, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg's latest effort just doesn’t have much to say.

Which is a bit of a shame, because White Castle ("Koo-mar? What kind of name is that anyhow?") and Escape from Guantanamo ("Where's your Koo-ran now?") did in a goofy, dick-joke kind of way. They weren’t just stoner movies; they got-highlighted the identity and race issues that plagued post-9/11 America under Bush. Those same issues haven't just gone away, yet the pair’s Obama-era outing is less potent, less high-grade. Still, Harold and Kumar haven’t reached the roach just yet. "See you in the fourth one", says Harris. High time.

Anticipation

As Harold puts it, hasn’t the whole 3D thing jumped the shark by now?

2

Enjoyment

Where else will you get to see Danny Trejo in a snowflake jumper?

3

In Retrospect

Not nearly as subversive as it purports to be, but fittingly witty and wintry nonetheless.

3
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