Review: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
PLOT: Lifelong buddies Harold and Kumar have grown apart after six years of new friends, family and changed lifestyle. However, when Kumar shows up delivering a mysterious package to Harold, he inadvertently burns down Harold’s Father-in-law’s beloved tree. The two soon find themselves on a mission to get another perfect tree. They manage to attract gun-fights, drug addicted children and a really nasty couple of thugs. Will the two friends mend the past and bring home a perfect Christmas tree in time for the holiday celebration? Who knows, maybe they’ll get a little help from St. Nick.
A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS is exactly what you’d expect it to be. Much like their exploits while traveling to WHITE CASTLE or even dealing with a “meat sandwich” at GUANTANAMO BAY, somehow their friendship always survives. With horny mob boss daughters, cocaine addicted toddlers and once again, a scene stealing Neil Patrick Harris, Harold and Kumar feel just like old friends that you haven’t sent a Facebook message in a long time. Most importantly, you haven’t shared a joint, or even participated in a little calamity with your dear old buds. But this is Christmas and thankfully, this 3D extravaganza makes up for lost time.
At the start of their first holiday adventure together, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have lost contact for six years. While Kumar is still getting high on a regular basis, his long time pal Harold is trying to start a family with his lovely wife Maria (Paula Garcés). And thanks to a beyond overbearing dad-in-law (Danny Trejo), Harold has to make sure that Christmas is perfect for Maria, perfect for their Christmas tree… and perfect for her numerous stereotypical relatives. This is the reason that he has chosen to leave Kumar’s friendship behind, his new life most assuredly seems much better than his old one. Or does it?
The joy of a Harold and Kumar flick is the sheer sense of fun and unabashedly brazen balls it carries in regards to what is okay to make fun of. From the obvious standpoint of racial stereotypes, the filmmakers manage to poke a little fun out of someone’s dick being frozen to a pole or a killer waffle making toy that spouts anti-pancake rage, very little is sacred. It is especially heart-warming to hear an innocent child claim that they have “the munchies” after they get high on weed. If any of this sounds offensive and/or disgusting to you, my advice is just don’t go. There are enough people out there that will truly enjoy the twisted humor on display throughout.
Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz (now directing the upcoming AMERICAN REUNION) return with a script that not only plays right alongside with the first two films, it also takes aim at 3D itself. And yes, for a movie shot in 3D, you would think that they really hated the idea – and that makes it work. Throughout a couple of ironic anti-3D moments, the inspired use of the technology - mixed with CG - really put this creative tool to work. You have all sorts of phallic symbols poking out at you. You have eggs, phallic symbols, and even a dude breaking the fourth wall. Why? Because it is Harold and Kumar, and it is in 3D. They want you to get caught up in the ridiculous of it.
Harold and Kumar revel in gross out humor and depraved shtick that will offend a good number of today’s audiences. Yet it does so by continuing to follow Cho and Penn and offering up two of the most likable leads in a stoner comedy ever. And while the third time out a little of the story may have lost some of its charm, it’s hard not to root for these fellas. And most importantly, Mr. Neil Patrick Harris steals each and every scene he’s in. However, he is a bit underused as always. Thankfully we have a number of other great cameos including the enormously talented Richard Riehle, David Kromholtz and Eddie Kaye Thomas and more that add to this holiday cheer.
Director Todd Strauss-Schulson directs A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS as a lively and rambunctious return to these wonderfully wacky stoners. For the third time around, Harold and Kumar are still hard to resist. It may be difficult to keep these characters fresh for another outing, yet you never know, I’m sure there is some wacky adventure that is just waiting to happen.