A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
Review By: Sean Stroub
The stoner duo returns in yet another installment of the Harold & Kumar franchise, but this time they’re not seeking to satisfy their munchies for one particular fast food meal or attempting to escape a major detention camp. Nope, this time these vulgar, goofy fellas are celebrating Christmas. John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles, but their characters are not as close to each other as we have seen them before. It takes some time for them to become buddies again, but luckily, the audience makes friends with the two right from the start.
It’s been years since Harold and Kumar have lived together. Now we see that Harold works on Wall Street and has a lovely home with his wife Maria (Paula Garces), and Kumar, well…he hasn’t changed much. He lives in the same apartment and has recently been dumped by Vanessa (Danneel Harris). He soon finds out that she is pregnant with his child, but Kumar is too childish to be a good father. Right after hearing the news from Vanessa, he discovers a strange package at his door that’s meant for his old roommate. When Kumar’s annoying neighbor Adrian, played by Amir Blumenfeld, asks him to tag along on a trip to New York City so he can deflower a virgin he met online (yes, at times it is still as crude and ridiculous as you’d expect), Kumar decides to ride shotgun and drop off the package at Harold’s house on the way.
When our favorite gang of stoners meet up on the screen for the first time since Guantanamo Bay, of course things start to go wrong. The package for Harold contains a magical joint that sets Maria’s father’s Christmas tree ablaze. Now Harold and Kumar must join forces to find the perfect tree that matches the one that the angry and disapproving Mr. Perez (perfectly played by Danny Trejo )
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas was originally released in 3D and was known as a “3D Christmas,” but on this Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, you won’t see that third dimension. That’s not too big of a deal since 3D TVs aren’t insanely popular or affordable right now, but it’s a shame since a lot of the jokes deal with the original theatrical format. Things fly at the screen in slow motion and make you wish you had the glasses and the TV to see them, but unfortunately that’s not an option. Sometimes it’s okay though, like when claymation penises pop out, so I can’t complain about the missing dimension too much. I’m sure the clouds of smoke looked cool in the theater and made you feel like you could reach the same state of mind as Kumar (because, surprisingly, Harold does not take one hit from any weed paraphernalia throughout the whole movie), if you had not already achieved that prior to
A lot of that breaking of the fourth wall happens like Adrian saying to Kumar that he lied to the girl he wants to hook up with, stating that Kumar works in the White House, to which he responds, “Like anyone would believe that.” Then later, Neil Patrick Harris says “We’ll see you in the fourth one,” alluding to another sequel. It’s during jokes like these that the movie shines brightest. Although I was let down to see that NPH is not in as much of the film as you might think. He dominates the posters and DVD boxes, standing in the center with a giant candy cane, but he’s really only in one scene. It’s a pretty funny one in which he plays himself and admits that he only announced being gay in order to score easier with chicks. His alternate self is just his How I Met Your Mother character, but on crack…literally. And that’s fine by me.
The movie’s politically incorrect jokes that we’ve seen in all the previous films are also quite funny as long as you realize that that’s all they are. Not meant to be harmful. And of course there’s some nudity and drugs. They even go so far as to have the baby of Tom Lennon’s character experience exaggerated effects of marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy. It’s all in good fun though.
As for the special features, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas has quite a few. This combo pack is known as the “Extra Dope Edition.” You’ll find everything on the one disc that holds both the Blu-ray and DVD versions (as well as a downloadable digital copy) including an extended cut with six extra minutes, one feature entirely devoted to the hilarious Tom Lennon (who actually could’ve had better lines in the film), an exploration of the claymation scene, and a handful of deleted scenes. I wouldn’t say all of this bonus content makes the DVD “extra” dope, but it’s still pretty dope.
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas isn’t as funny as the original, but it’s better than the second film and actually has some heart. That doesn’t mean the kids can watch it (not only because of the drugs and nudity but because of the scene in which Santa gets shot in the head), but it’ll still provide some yuletide cheer. And I’m really glad it didn’t get too gross especially since its subject matter pertains to my favorite holiday. Believe it or not, this will have you wishing you could go back in time two months and celebrate the holidays all over again. You’ll just have to keep this dopey movie in mind