Does the idea of a very (intentionally) ridiculous comedy film which features a small child smoking weed, doing blow and knocking back ecstasy tablets make you fear for the future of humanity? Does it propel you to write to The Daily Mail in disgust at just how broken the world is? Does it make you weep and rage and weep and then rage some more? Remember we’re talking about a fictional toddler in a purposefully silly comedy film. Does it still upset you?
Then stop reading this page immediately as you’re a drooling idiot with no sense of humour. And the latest Harold and Kumar movie is very, very much not intended for you.
Setting the template for a certain blockbuster released next year, AVH&K3DC (as the kids are calling it) is set about eight years after the events of the Guantanamo Bay-escaping sequel which saw ‘Rold and Kumar getting high with the President and finally bagging their beloved ladies. The years have been kinder to Harold, now a big-shot Wall Street honcho, than they have to Kumar, the latter finding himself locked up in arrested development with a beard/weed-habit combo to rival Gandalf. And while the pair have gone their separate ways it’ll only take a Christmas miracle to bring them back together.
Like Santa’s checklist the attraction of the continuing adventures of Harold and Kumar is that their antics are equal parts naughty and nice. The naughty – horny virgins, excessive substance abuse, racial stereotyping and a claymation episode to make Wallace and Gromit crap themselves – can only work when gift wrapped in a big bow of nice in the form of sentimental lessons learnt about growing up and the importance of friendship and growing a pair and not being a jerk and a host of other Hollywood clichés. It gets away with the worst kind of offensive comedy because at heart, it’s all heart. And putting Machete in a Christmas sweater helps.
It’s also the most fun you can have in the cinema with your glasses on, with the 3D being used to better than average comic effect. My personal views on the extra dimension are well documented (in short, I think it’s a useless format intended only for Dougals who haven’t worked out that some cows are near, and some are far, far away) so it’s three cheers for the fact that the majority of the comedy is taking a pot shot, no pun intended, at the pointlessness of adding an extra D.
The haphazard style might not please some viewers but it’s certainly in keeping with its screwball heritage. The best example being the shoehorn replaced by the crowbar when the writers need to add in the ever popular Neil Patrick Harris reference. Instead of working a clever sub-plot in our heroes simply get mistaken for dancers in an NPH chorus line. Cue more Doogie Howser-as-hetero-sex-fiend gags. A repeated joke that by the fourth instalment may need a new angle even if he does play a drug fuelled rapist to perfection. “Drug fuelled rapist? That’s not funny”. Sorry to disagree but in this context, it is. It definitely is.
We mentioned it also features a two-year-old having a whale of a time on drugs? RAGE, WEEP, RAGE.
It won’t top any ‘All Time Bestest Christmas Films Ever!’ list, and it’ll only just make it onto a best stoner films chart, but as far as that burgeoning ‘Christmas-Stoner Films’ competition goes, it’s a podium finisher. H&K fans will be happy to know that AVH&K3DC is just as enjoyable as H&KGTM -or H&KGTWC for US readers- and it’s predecessor H&KEFGB.
Now, in the words of Patrick Bateman, “Have a holly jolly Christmas”.
Release date: Friday December 9th
Cast: Kal Penn (House, Superman Returns), John Cho (Star Trek, American Pie), Neil Patrick Harris (Starship Troopers, The Smurfs).
Director:Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas).
Screenwriter: Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz (American Reunion).
Running Time: 90 mins.