New ‘Harold & Kumar’ shamelessly hilarious



Article Published: Nov. 10, 2011 | Modified: Nov. 14, 2011
New ‘Harold & Kumar’ shamelessly hilarious

John Cho and Kal Penn star in ‘A Vey Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.’



As if Danny Trejo in a garish Christmas sweater isn’t enough, how about that Christmas sweater in 3-D?

That’s the impetus behind “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” not necessarily Danny Trejo, but hilarious excess, made even more so through its gleeful abuse of 3-D for all its gimmicky worth.

It’s a stoner comedy for sure, but a surprisingly intelligent and even sweet one at that, completely self-aware of its own devices and happy to offend anyone and everyone with its unflinching irreverence.

And its top-notch 3-D happily embraces that irreverence, with director Todd Strauss-Schulson (in his first major feature film) throwing something at the screen at every opportunity – wafting pot smoke, a clergyman’s tooth, an explosive cocaine snow shower (to the tune of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”), a horrifying and hysterical Claymation sequence or series standout Neil Patrick Harris (“Doogie Howser, M.D.”) performing a perverse dance routine.

In between, there’s a simple story that leads our hapless heroes from set-piece to set-piece.

It’s been years since their last adventure, and best friends Harold (John Cho, 2009’s “Star Trek”) and Kumar (Kal Penn, “Superman Returns”) have grown apart. Harold’s now a successful – and married – Wall Street executive, while the recently dumped Kumar has actually seemed to digress, putting on the pounds and engulfing himself in a perpetual cloud of pot smoke.

But when a mysterious package addressed to Harold arrives on Kumar’s doorstep, he feels obliged to deliver it personally. This, of course, leads to insanity, as Harold’s father-in-law’s (Danny Trejo, “Machete”) beloved Christmas tree is burnt to a crisp. Rather than fess up, Harold decides it’s imperative to find a replacement tree before Trejo and company return from midnight Mass.
Hilarity ensues, as the duo hits the streets of New York City in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

“3D Christmas” isn’t for the easily offended, and those buying a ticket should know what they’re getting into – politically incorrect raunch, and plenty of it. Series writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg merrily make fun of everything, the film itself a joke on premature Christmas marketing with its early November release date.

But as usual, Harold’s and Kumar’s bizarre, drug-clouded exploits manage to put things into perspective, breaking taboos left and right, but spotlighting the clear-headed absurdity of it all, from prejudice to so-called family values to commercialism run rampant. In 3-D.

“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence, is playing at Regal Cinema 7 in Boone. For show times, see page 9 or visit http://www.mountaintimes.com/movies.


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