The reunion of Harold, Kumar and Neil Patrick Harris [playing ‘Neil Patrick Harris’] is a joyous paean to the power of bromance, true love and claymation – it’s also rude, crude, crass, vulgar and all sorts of wrong on so many levels. That’s what makes it so much fun!
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Harold [John Cho] and Kumar [Kal Penn], and when the movie opens, it’s been a while since they’ve seen each other.
Harold, it seems, has grown up gotten married to Maria [Paula Garces] and gotten a really good job. Kumar, on the other hand, has become a perpetually stoned, videogame-playing mess whose girlfriend has left him. They both have new best friends – the fussy Todd [Tom Lennon] for Harold and nerd stoner Adrian [Amir Blumenfeld] for Kumar.
When a package for Harold is delivered to Kumar, he decides to deliver it to the correct address – and drafts Adrian to drive him. Adrian, who’s got a date to deflower a cute blonde [Jordan Hinson], agrees but he wants Kumar to hit the party where he’s meeting his virgin.
Things go awry when the package’s contents – a giant spliff – accidentally burn down the homegrown twelve-foot Frazier fir Harold’s intimidating father-in-law [Danny Trejo] has brought as part of the Perez family traditional Christmas.
From there it’s all drugs and misunderstandings, mayhem and confusion. We’ve got a mall Santa [Patton Oswalt] with a hinky side job; a baby who gets highly repeatedly [and accidentally]; a truly awesome game of beer pong; boobs [of the female variety – not the two bozos who are the leads]; the real – and unfortunate, but very understanding Santa [Richard Riehle]; a Russian mobster [Elias Koteas] and a couple ghetto Christmas tree salesmen played with interchangeable verve [you have to see the movie to get what I mean] played by RZA and Da’Vone McDonald – and that barely scratches the surface.
I mean, that doesn’t even get us to Neil Patrick Harris! His explanation of how he’s still alive is sacrilegious, blasphemous and gives new meaning to the term ‘daddy issues!’
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is a very smart movie about a couple of doofuses who belong together in the same way that great movie teams [like Butch & Sundance, Felix & Oscar, Cheech & Chong] belong together. In drifting away from each other, they’ve lost a bit of a spark – Harold needs Kumar’s goofiness to leaven his uptightness, while Harold’s groundedness keeps Kumar from degenerating into a complete mess.
There’s some good stuff here about family, tradition and the spirit of Christmas, but that doesn’t get in the way of the outrageous fun – it enhances it.
John Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who’ve now written three H&K extravaganzas walk the same kind of line as Judd Apatow – enough heart that it never [quite] seems like the movie is wallowing in its crudity, but reveling in it nonetheless.
Director Todd Strauss-Schulson has a lot fun with both sides of the Harold & Kumar equation and takes the script’s skewering of 3D to extravagant lengths – one character asks, ‘Hasn’t 3D jumped the shark by now?’ You will not believe some of the stuff that jumps off the screen at you [it starts with a cool deconstruction of the Warner’s logo]. This is one film that could not have been made without 3D – and it’s actually worth the extra 3-5 bucks.
Final Grade: A-