Shocking as it may seem, “stoner” comedies don’t normally do anything for me, with The Big Lebowski being an exception because it’s a movie about a stoner, but I fucking love Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Mainly, I love the dynamic between Harold and Kumar (former Obama administration member Kal Penn and John Cho, J.J. Abrams’ Sulu, who may or may not be gay). They come off like real friends, at least the ones I have, and the world always felt like reality (albeit a bit heightened). It also reintroduced the world to Neil Patrick Harris, which may eventually lead to world peace. Basically, for what it’s trying to do, White Castle is just about a perfect movie — kind of like the real thing in regards to oniony miniburgers. I’m not sure what Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay was trying to do, but I don’t think it succeeded. The move isn’t bad on Comedy Central on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but it’s not great, either. Even the NPH stuff feels forced and anticlimactic.
In spite of that disappointing sequel, I was greatly anticipating A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Because, while I hate 3D, I also love Christmas movies and Harold & Kumar themselves are batting .500, so it seemed like looking forward to that might be worthwhile. Though, retrospectively, maybe that was a bit naive. The trailer just plopped and I’m even more confused by it than I was by the entirety of Guantanamo Bay:
There definitely seem to be some humorous moments (I may have some issues, but Harold shooting Santa in the face tickles my funny bone) and the conception of Jesus and Heaven appeal to my skewering of sacred cows, but the reliance on 3D gags — standard, uninspired gags — and fairly terrible CGI on display here distress me greatly. Unfortunately, the claymation thing has been done, too, and probably even to better use on both “Community” and “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” Yet, I remain ever hopeful that at least NPH’s song and dance number will be good enough for a Christmas week viewing on TNT. I need this. The world needs this.
Miracles do exist, right? I guess we’ll find out when the movie opens on November 4, 2011.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and will entertain quality “stoner” movie suggestions on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He also had reservations about the first Harold & Kumar joint, so it’s possible the third will pleasantly surprise him, too. Right…?