'A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas' Movie Review
With any 'Harold & Kumar' movie, you know exactly what you're getting, and 'A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas' doesn't disappoint. It's everything you want in a H&K movie plus more Neil Patrick Harris!
I had never heard of a White Castle before 'Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle' came out in 2004, but that movie easily helped the burger franchise become quite famous whether they liked it or not. Naturally, now I have fond memories of those boys after being introduced to those nasty good sliders. The sequel was just okay for me, but with this third entry in the stoner franchise has brought Harold & Kumar back funnier than ever. While it's obviously not a film for everyone, it's the right holiday film for those of us that loved 'Bad Santa' and good stoner flicks. Co-stars John Cho and Kal Penn fall right back into sync with the characters that have made them famous.
'A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas' sets itself up really well as it's been since 'Escape from Guantanamo', and like many friends, they've grown apart in this time. Harold, always the more responsible of the two, has settled down with a wife, a secure job (or as secure as any Wall Street job can be), but you can tell he's itching for a little more excitement. Kumar, on the other hand, hasn't grown any. He's recently single and has been kicked out of med school, and any fan of the series will know what extracurricular activities has caused that.
When a mysterious package for Harold arrives at Kumar’s door, we know that they're going to off on another adventure, but this time with Santa, Jesus and a slew of people from their previous films. I loved watching Harold, now the straight-laced conservative, say “I'm kinda glad all the craziness is behind me,” but within a minute of finding a wonderfully large 'stick of joy' in his package, he's ready to return to his past. Once they light up, they also wind up lighting up Harold's Christmas tree which his over the top father-in-law has been growing for eight years. It's like a page from 'Meet the Parents' since Harold needs to find an identical Christmas tree before his wife (Paula Garces) and in-laws get back from Christmas Eve services at Church. That's so fitting!
As any fan of the series knows, 'Harold & Kumar' films aren't big on flowing story arcs, but more like 'Family Guy' plot randomness which flows much like the smoke from their joints. There are so many silly moments in the film, whether you've toked up ahead of time or not, but what kicks the movie in is when the boys take an unknown hit from some spiked eggnog. What I loved the most from this film was that the scenes that make you laugh the most are so unexpected. Unlike so many other comedies where you can see the punchline coming from a mile away, 'Harold & Kumar's' laughs are more organic and unexpected. If you've seen any of the trailers, the ode to 'A Christmas Story' with a body part frozen stuck to a pole is a freaking riot, and there's plenty more, but for those PC, steer clear of this movie unless you're going to be joining the Westboro Church is a new pr picketing event.
Neil Patrick Harris steals the show as usual and shows why he's become so revered by most walks of life. This franchise literally brought his career back to Hollywood's attention (some may disagree) so he gives this film his all as you'd expect. His scene playing gay to seduce a woman is a riot even if you've already seen the setup in the trailer. More killer cameos that add more to the film include: Danny Trejo, Thomas Lennon, Elias Koteas, Patton Oswalt, Richard Riehle and Bobby Lee. Even Harold and Kumar’s old Jewish neighbors, Goldstein (David Krumholtz) and Rosenberg (Eddie Kaye Thomas) have come back for this one.
The beauty of 'A very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas' is that it doesn't take itself seriously and knows how ridiculous it is, but it's a very well conceived comedy even while it pushed 3D tvs with a vengeance. The writing team behind Harold & Kumar (Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg) really made this a classic stoner film by bringing on director Todd Strauss-Schulson who kept what could have easily crashed and burned into a fun comedy. Speaking of 3D, this film could have done without it, but it has a few cool moments of things bringing thrust into your face much like how 'Jackass 3D' did, but you can watch it in 2D if you can't afford that ticket upcharge. You'll be laughing heavy at either version.
With the way things are in the world right now, 'A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas' couldn't have come out at a better time. Especially with trying to figure out how to enjoy Christmas on a much tighter budget.
Best Movies Ever News Rating: B
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is an instant stoner classic, and for those, like myself, who felt that last outing wasn't so good, this one will make you remember how brilliant these two can be. 3D effects are so-so, but the laughs you'll get from this film really don't make you care. It's the perfect film to get ready for the holiday season craziness.