Our generation’s stoner duo is back again. This time, they are taking on the time honored holiday of Christmas. While their friendship has grown apart over the course of six years, Harold & Kumar proven that the spirit of the mary jane can survive anything… even the magic of 3D right before the holidays.
Since their last adventure, Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) have gone their separate ways. Kumar has dropped out of medical school due to failing a drug test. He is living the smoke-filled life in the Big Apple, letting life pass him by. Harold, on the other hand, has become what some protesters hate – an investor on Wall Street. The two former friends have their own set of problems to face. Kumar had a huge bombshell dropped on him when his former girlfriend Vanessa (Danneel Harris) informed him that she was pregnant with his child. What could have been a happy occasion turned into a panic moment when our friend Kumar took a sudden bong hit to ease his mind. Harold is married to Maria (Paula Garcés), living in the suburbs, and is beding over backwards to please his father-in-law Mr. Perez (Danny Trejo) when it comes to honoring Maria’s family tradition.
One day, a mysterious package arrives on Kumar’s doorstep, addressed to Harold. With the help of his horny next-door neighbor Adrian, Kumar reunites with his friend Harold to see what has transpired since they parted ways. They open the package to find a large joint inside. Kumar wants to smoke the bad boy but Harold throws it out the window. Little did he know that the one course of action would set in motion a new adventure for our stoner duo. Their mission is find a new 12′ Douglas fir tree as the Perez prized one was destroyed before the Perez clan retun from midnight mass. As in the first two movies, getting the job done is never an easy task.
The third installment in the Harold & Kumar trilogy has proven to be more in tune that their last adventure, without a few missteps along the way. The subplot of watching Harold’s straighlaced friend Todd (Tom Lennon) trying to hold his cool while watching his 2-year-old daughter accidentally experimenting with marijuana, cocaine, and ectasy maybe fun to watch but it added very little to the movie. However, seeing the baby girl saying and doing the actions may make you say awww and oh dear… for about three seconds. Kumar’s new friend Adrian also didn’t add to the flavor of the movie either. He was just trying to chase the tail of a Russian mob boss and then cowers to the closet along with Todd.
Cho and Penn really stepped up a notch with their latest stoner adventure. The claymation bad trip was a crazy scene to watch and then to see what has actually occurred in real time make you wonder what were the writers smoking when they came up with that scene. No matter if it’s escaping the clutches of a mob boss and his heavies, playing beer pong with kids who think Jaden Smith is the true “Karate Kid” or finding the true meaning of their friendship, there is no end to the full endurance of Harold & Kumar.
The scene stealer of the movie was Neil Patrick Harris. In every H&K film, he delivers the best lines in a single scene. For the third movie, he not only plays up his proudly gay entertainer persona but he takes it to the next level by faking the gay just to hit on a naive showgirl. A cameo by his real-life boyfriend, David Burtka, helps makes the scne more fun to watch.
Freshman Director Todd Strauss-Schulson may not perfect the comedy formula his first time out, he made up for it with the stoner charms. The 3-D aspect was goofy and pleasing, and it helped the film out – from the smoke rings and the confetti from a 3D TV to the squirts of syrup from Kumar’s new faithful companion, Wafflebot. Be warned that you will see a clay schlong coming out of the screen. I have to admit that I fell for the relationship between Wafflebot and Kumar. Wafflebot was just a child’s toy at the beginning but Kumar’s interactions with him into a budding friendship that is similar to a boy and a famous alien. This is a funny start to the holiday season, but it will definitely keep you guessing, and who knows what’s in store for our boys for the future. Let’s hope they continue keep us laughing all to way to White Castle.
FINAL GRADE: B
TRR Movie Revue by Dean Rogers