November 15, 2011

Movie Review: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas

So, here we are, once again for another go around with the smoking duo of Harold and Kumar. It is hard to believe it has been seven years since their first adventure. It is even harder to believe that this is the third entry in the franchise. Seriously, who ever would have thought that a movie called Harold and Kumar go to White Castle would be a hit? I mean, it was a title with a fast food restaurant in it and starred guys who, to that point, we're best known as supporting players in American Pie and Van Wilder, respectively.

Since that time, they have both gone on to have interesting careers that have allowed them to demonstrate skills in other genres, for example see John Cho (Harold) in Star Trek and Kal Penn (Kumar) in The Namesake. Also, let's not forget that that Penn also holds a position in government, some public relations director, I'm not sure what exactly. Anyway, they have returned to the characters that first really pushed their names into the spotlight.

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas arrives as the first holiday themed film of the year, and the first big release in a few years. If I recall correctly, the only one releases last year was the little seem Nutcracker 3D. This raunchy comedy brings some R-rated fun to the table. No, it is not as funny or fresh as the first one, and I do not remember the second one well enough to compare, but this does have some laughs.

Frankly, I just enjoyed seeing a movie with prevalent drug use, some gratuitous violence and nudity, plenty of vulgarity and a little bit of child endangerment made without any thoughts towards being politically correct, and I'm 3D, no less. This is a movie that will make you laugh, make you a touch uncomfortable,or just annoy you. It is a stupid comedy and does not make any promises of genuine redemption or insight into human behavior. It is dumb for the sake of being dumb, but in 3D.

As the movie starts we quickly learn that the duo have drifted apart. Kumar has split with his girlfriend and spends his time getting high in a beyond messy apartment. Harold is a successful investor on Wall Street and is married to Maria (Paula Garces) with a nice house in the suburbs. While Kumar deals with very little in his life, Harold is preparing the house for a visit by Maria's family, led by surly patriarch Carlos (the great Danny Trejo).

Now, it is time to get these guys back together. A mysterious package shows up for Harold at Kumar's place. He enlists the help of neighbor Adrian to deliver it. Once there, the two rekindle their friendship, somewhat. That results in the burning down of the family Christmas tree. Before long we have them looking for trees, following friends to parties to have sex with a virgin, being shot at by a mobster, and other raunchy hijinks.

In addition to the great Danny Trejo, we get the return of Neil Patrick Harris. This guy is flat out funny. He steals all of the scenes he is in and just has a lot of fun with performance. Unfortunately, he is in hfar too few scenes. I understand he is not the star, but still, he is so dang funny!

Seriously, though, there is not a lot that can be said about this movie. It is a simple story with simple characters. It is stupid, silly, sporadically funny, and just fun. The 3D is used to full effect as a gimmick, every other scene seemingly had something related to the third dimension.

See this if you are not easily offended, want a few laughs, and would like to get into the Christmas spirit a bit early. Don't see this if vulgarity, nudity, violence, children doing drugs, adults doing drugs, political incorrectness, and claymation offend you.


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