Making its unseasonal debut on HBO this weekend was “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”.
John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles as the stoner duo Harold Lee and Kumar Patel, only this time, things have changed. Harold is a successful, married homeowner, while Kumar… hasn’t changed a single bit. In fact, it’s safe to say he’s barely even moved. When Kumar stops by Harold’s house on Christmas Eve, a comedy of errors ensues that finds the two up to their eyeballs in drugs and danger.
It’s crass and crude (occasionally really crass and crude), but certainly has its share of funny, irreverent humor.
After the events of “Go to White Castle” and “Escape from Guantanamo Bay”, Harold and Kumar have gone their separate ways. Harold now works on Wall Street, while Kumar does… nothing. He failed a drug test and now spends his days in his apartment smoking weed. He agrees to accompany a friend to a party so the friend can hook up with a girl he met on the internet, but before he can go, he’s visited by his ex girlfriend.
Who informs him she’s pregnant.
Harold, meanwhile is caught in a situation of his own. His wife Maria (Paula Garcés), has invited her family to their home for the holidays. This includes her intimidating father (Danny Trejo), who has a bit of an obsession with Christmas tress, dating back to his childhood. He makes Harold remove the fake tree they had set up and replaces it with a tree he’s brought, one he grew himself.
The perfect Christmas tree.
His in-laws depart for Church and entrust Harold to decorate the cherished tree, but it’s then that Kumar stops by to visit and drop off a gift. When he accidentally sets the dream tree on fire, a madcap adventure ensues as the two scramble to replace the tree on Christmas Eve, before his wife’s family returns home from Church.
You know with Harold and Kumar you’re getting a blend of stoner/drug comedy, offensive, sometimes racist jokes, and crass biological humor. They manage though, at least for me, to put enough genuine laughs amongst everything they throw up against the wall in order justify some of the jokes that miss. In addition to the copious pot smoking, there are plenty of jokes at expense of the ethnicity of the two leads, and jokes involving urination, thrown feces, claymation penises and real penises. That’s not even close to all, though. There’s a coked-out baby, waffle making robots, and perhaps best of all, Jesus in Heaven with a couple of topless models.
Neil Patrick Harris is back again, and his 10 minutes of the movie are once again the highlight. He’s beyond self-deprecating in this role. His fictional persona of a drugged out womanizer who fakes being gay as a pick up technique is beyond funny.
Cho and Penn don’t add much, themselves, in my opinion. I don’t necessarily feel like either of them make additions here as comedians much, it’s really the silly, surrealistic script that’s the star of the show. There are claymation sequences, a vision of heaven that’s pretty outrageous, and a Santa who… well, certainly isn’t the Santa who Christmas songs are sung about. The plot itself is a ridiculous, gibberish, mess. It’s just a string of situations for these two to bumble in and out of. And of course, the duo each need to learn some lessons about what’s important and who they are. Along the way there’s enough humor for fans of the series to latch on to and enjoy.
“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” is literally all over the place, but it has a certain level of charm and humor that will make its brief runtime enjoyable enough for you.