Thursday, May 8, 2008

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Harold and Kumar is good family fun involving weed, urine, doodee, incest, freaks, whores, terrorists, generals, and finally, friendship. The beginning summarizes what you may have missed in the 1st movie. It’s important (kind’ve like following Lost) because you don’t want to be confused. Here’s the spoiler: In the 1st movie, Harold and Kumar got stoned, and after a series of adventures, made it to White Castle. They ate a lot and learned to believe in themselves. Now that you’ve processed that, you’re ready for the sequel.

On a tangent, isn’t it weird how many movies contain variations of the name Harold in it? The Harold and Kumar movies are accompanied by: Harry and the Hendersons, When Harry Met Sally, Harold and Maude, Dirty Harry, Harry Potter, Harry Balls, Deconstructing Harry, Harold Cuts the Cheese, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, and Who’s Harry Crumb?

The beginning is a little slow, but once Harold and Kumar sneak a bong on the plane, you get about an hour of steady laughs. Most of the jokes are centered on stereotypes. The jokes range from the original and clever to disgusting and really, really, really weird. It’s actually fun to see the filmmakers lambaste all ethnicities and cultures. My personal favorite scene is when a government official tries to bribe two Jewish guys with a bag of pennies. (I’m Jewish so I can laugh. But if you’re not, you can’t.) The government and homeland security get ripped apart so much that I kept expecting a cameo from Michael Moore. And the movie gets extra props for a pool scene with gratuitous female nudity.

*Something also has to be said for the soundtrack. The songs were original, fast paced, and funny. My favorite song had to be: “My dick is bigger than yours.” I don’t know who it’s by, but it’s friggin’ hilarious.* (It's by Mickey Avalon.)

NPH (Neil Patrick Harris) returns as himself, but he’s not great, and the laughs slowly dwindle toward the end. George W. Bush shows up near the climax, and much like his presidency, his act gets old pretty quick. The end fizzles like a burnt out joint, but you get enough hits in the middle to have an enjoyable experience.

Harold and Kumar give us about an hour of solid entertainment. The beginning and end are weak, but I’m sure the stoners won’t remember those parts anyway. As far as sequels go, it’s not a bad effort, and stoned or sober, you’re bound to laugh a few times. And I’m positive Harold and Kumar will be back for more fun somewhere down the line. How about: Harold and Kumar vs. Cheech and Chong?

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