Even before Thanksgiving, grocery stores, Hollywood, and the music industry were milking the Christmas season for all it’s worth. Then again, when people think of the most wonderful time of the year, they don’t generally imagine explosions, copious amounts of drugs, and Neil Patrick Harris. They probably will now (minor spoilers up ahead, folks! Avert your eyes!).
Fans of the first two Harold and Kumar movies have been waiting patiently for this third installment since it was announced in 2009 and are finally stepping out of their respective man-caves for a couple of hours to bask in its psychedelic glory.
The script by series creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg catches up with our weed-smoking heroes when they’re in their 30s. Harold (John Cho) has made a respectable life for himself, while Kumar (Kal Penn) is in the same state of life as before. The friends have drifted apart, and I was initially disappointed that I didn’t see their buddy antics that were the core of the first two films.
But on Christmas Eve, Kumar receives an old package mailed to his former roommate and decides to try to reconnect. Their reunion at Harold’s stately home immediately leads to shenanigans as the flame from an unreasonably enormous joint sets fire to the sacred Christmas tree of Harold’s intimidating father-in-law, and the pair embarks on a quest to replace it.
Their journey involves the usual high-jinks, which include attempted female-on-male sexual assault, a shotgun accident involving the real Santa Claus (naturally), and an appearance by a crack-addled and aggressively heterosexual Neil Patrick Harris, as is customary. Oh, and a child who’s exposed to secondhand weed smoke and dangerous amounts of cocaine and ecstasy.
There were a lot less winces of disgust and more laughter coming out of me during the film, and that in itself was astonishing. I’m not a fan of gross-out humor or stoner movies, and I’ve only ever casually watched the first two H&K movies when I was up late and they were being aired on Comedy Central. I can’t say that I enjoyed them, but I watched both anyway on account of my eternal love for NPH, which is sad but comfortable (fellow NPH fans will be slightly disappointed, however, as he isn’t a huge part of the story).
The biggest drawback was the 3D. A good amount of the jokes (and the five-minute clay-mated portion of the movie) depended on flying objects zooming out at you, but it’s not completely necessary. I decided against it at the last minute, and got the jokes just fine.
Once again, Harold and Kumar bring it with more creative ideas that made me laugh several times throughout the movie, along with the stoners who sat around me. These two once again prove that anything can be just a bit funnier if you add plenty of weed and nudity. And the fact that Kal Penn can still make these movies and maintain a respectable reputation at the White House is hilarious enough as it is.