A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

Posted on November 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I was pretty sure that the line between being lame and making fun of being lame was fairly distinct but in this film Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) push it so hard it almost dissolves.  We’ve all come a long way since the original film came out in 2004 and charmed everyone with the unpretentiousness of its protagonists’ aspirations (they just wanted some of those scrumptious square burgers from White Castle) and its own (silly stoner fun).  The sequel in 2008 brought in a politics by taking our heroes to Guantanamo prison and a meeting with the President.  And now they’re back.

Harold has moved on.  He is married to the beautiful Maria (Paula Garces) and has a beautiful home and a fancy job on Wall Street.  He even has an obsequious assistant.

What he doesn’t have is the respect of his father-in-law (the scary Danny Trejo) or his old friend.  Harold hangs out with a dweeby new friend, now, and his name is Todd (Tom Lennon).  He and Kumar have gone their separate ways and never see each other.

Kumar has been kicked out of med school for failing a drug test.  His girlfriend has left him.  All he has left is a weed habit and a dweeby new friend, Adrian (Amir Blumenfeld).  He and Harold have nothing in common anymore.  But when he brings Harold a package that was delivered to their old apartment and accidentally sets Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree on fire, they team up again to find a replacement and go on a journey that will include drugs, nudity, a claymation interlude, a song and dance from Neil Patrick Harris (worth the price of admission as a demented version of himself, singing and dancing and explaining that the gay thing is just a ruse to help him get more girls), more drugs including marijuana smoke in 3D that floats out into the theater, 3D jokes, hot nude nuns, Russian gangsters, and a drug-taking baby.

It hasn’t quite jumped the doobie yet, but the shtick is getting tired.  Things that were funny in a college kid are not so funny when they get older and Kumar’s pudgy slacker-hood just seems sad.  It’s as though they made a check-list of ways to be outrageous instead of letting the humor come naturally from the situations.  When they and their characters were new to us we enjoyed the sense of discovery.  But when they make jokes about Penn’s service in the White House and Harris is no longer a has-been but, thanks in part to the first movie, an Entertainment Weekly cover/J.J. Abrams musical-starring success, it feels phoned in and phony.

Parents should know that this movie has every possible kind of offensive material including constant extremely strong and crude language, drinking and pervasive and enthusiastic drug use, explicit sexual references and situations with very explicit male and female (and clay figure) nudity, intentionally offensive and provocative humor including nude nuns and drug use by a baby, comic but very graphic violence

Family discussion:  Whose fault is it that Harold and Kumar were estranged?  Why did they make such different choices?  What will happen in the next in the series?

If you like this, try:  the previous Harold & Kumar movies and “Up in Smoke”

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3D Comedy Series/Sequel

5 Replies to “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”

  1. Tim, I have explained before that I am not accepting any more comments on the subject of comparative male/female nudity in films and the release of a new movie is not an opportunity to start it up again. We have expressed our views thoroughly and there is no value in repeating the same points.

  2. I will not be seeing this film as I do not care to see graphic male nudity. I also don’t care for seeing children involved with drugs or graphic violence of any kind. I don’t find anything listed as being shocking only disappointing the the filmmakers believe that these type of things are entertaining and humorous. However, I am pleased that this film is not doing as well as expected at the box office.

  3. Hello, I can see that you don’t want to disscuse if there is male or femal nudity…. But we as parents need to know I write movie reviews an if my kids want to come I bring them along with me. My son has already seen Femal nudity both boobs an v. And he is 14. My daughter who is 16 she wants to see this movie cuz of Neil partrick Harris jr. She loves him…. I need to know if this has guy nudity in it. If you can’t say then I can report you. It is very easy. I don’t understand this is a movie mom… You need to tell us when a parent asks you otherwise this website is bullshit. And ou are lucky I’m not posting this publicly.

    1. Samantha, read the review. I always make clear the nudity in the films I review, male and female. What I do not permit is any more debate on the issue of male vs. female nudity and its fairness, which we have discussed exhaustively. The comments on that topic have run their course, everyone’s views have been made public, and there is no reason to start it up again. This movie does have very explicit male nudity as I discuss in the review. If you have further questions, let me know.

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