Friday, November 11, 2011
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Six years have past since our heros' last mis-adventure, and the two have grown apart. Harold (John Cho) is now married to and living with the beautiful Maria (Paula Garcés) in a spacious, posh home that his swanky Wall Street job had afforded him. Kumar (Kal Penn), predictably, has still failed to make anything of himself, living in a crumby, dingy apartment, failing to shave, and losing both his job and his girlfriend Vanessa (Danneel Ackles) before the film opens. On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, a mysterious package arrives at Kumar's doorstep, addressed to Harold. Though the two haven't spoken in a couple years, Kumar decides to drop the package off on his way to a party, but when one disaster leads to another, the estranged besties find themselves in the middle of one hell of a night.
The last four words in that paragraph are far and away the most important in this whole article. Where Guantanamo Bay messed with the formula by sending the stoners all over the world in a plot that developed over several days, Christmas goes back to the, 'One Crazy Night,' format, and my god is it the better for it. The scale is much more thought-out this time around, its ridiculous happenings better tailored to one time and place. For the first time in the franchise, Christmas is presented in 3-D, using the technology to throw all manner of foul matter at the audience. It's funny at first, but as a one-note joke stretched over an hour and a half, it gets old fast. As a matter of fact, a good deal of H&K's latest outing gets kind of old, missing the target completely just as often as hitting a bulls-eye. The comedy is hopelessly sporadic, prompting howling laughter and mild boredom in alternating turns. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas proves two things, one good and one bad. It offers evidence that there is still humor to be wrung out of these two, but it also all but certifies that their wacky shenanigans will never play with the same verve and zest of the first film. I like these guys though; I'll take what I can get.