In Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, the pair’s craving for a specific kind of fast food was turned into an epic quest – call it the stoner version of Homer’s Odyssey. Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay turns them into the mutant spawn of The Fugitive and Hope & Crosby’s “Road” movies.
When Harold [John Cho] and Kumar [Kal Penn] head for Amsterdam hours after the first movie’s conclusion, they are victimized by racial profiling and mistaken for terrorists when Kumar’s high tech bong is mistaken for a bomb. After being tossed into Guantanamo Bay, they escape – with idiot Homeland Security Agent Ron Fox [Rob Corddry] hot on their heels. Throughout, Kumar fills the Bob Hope role by getting the pair into further difficulties, while Harold is the sensible one.
While taking accurate shots at aspects of the current political situation, Escape From Guantanamo Bay’s funniest gag is that these absolutely normal American guys could be getting into all this trouble just because they want to smoke a bit o’ weed and find their One True Loves. Throw in Neil Patrick Harris – once again playing the Bizarro World version of himself – shattered and reinforced redneck stereotypes and a delightful take on Dubya [here, he may not speak real good English, but he’s slyer, smarter and mellower than we are expecting] and the result is a solidly funny movie that Says Something more by highlighting the characters of Harold and Kumar than by the political jokes.
Somehow, the crude, lewd and grotesque bits that are meant to be funny actually are funny – and the relationships [buddies Harold and Kumar; each of them and their OTLs] work because, at its heart, there is an innocent [yes, innocent] charm to these guys.
Final Grade: B