"A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" is, as expected, a perfect "Harold & Kumar" movie. If you've enjoyed this mismatched duo's misadventures to White Castle and from Guantanamo Bay in the past, there's simply no way you'll have anything but an awesome time with their holiday spectacular, hitting theaters today (November 4).
I don't think you really need extra convincing — either you love these movies, or you don't — but just in case you're seeking added incentive, go beyond the break for five reasons you need to see "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas."
Time Heals All Wounds
I love-love-loved the first trip to "White Castle," but I was left cold by "Guantanamo Bay." I suspect I'm not the only one who feels this way. Never fear: the latest "Harold & Kumar" erases those mediocre memories, largely because we get to see the titular stoners at very different points in their life. Well, very different for Harold, at least — it gets different for Kumar. Regardless, these two have seen happier days with each other, and the story of their fragile friendship is actually quite touching in its own disturbing way thanks to the time that's passed within the world of "Harold & Kumar."
Another reason why the latest "Harold & Kumar" works so well is the Christmas setting. Director Todd Strauss-Schulson and the film's writers did an excellent job at exploiting themes commonly seen throughout the holiday movie genre and giving them an appropriately gag-worthy makeover. Make no mistake, this is decidedly not "It's A Wonderful Life," but the 3-D extravaganza has all of the makings of a holiday classic in its own right.
Speaking of 3-D extravaganzas, it's that very gimmick that makes this "Harold & Kumar" movie stand out from its predecessors. As is the franchise's wont, there's lots of winking and nodding at the camera, except this time, it's all in your face as eggs, explosions and other assorted unmentionables come flying furiously to invade your personal space. It's the most fun I've had with 3-D all year, second only to "Drive Angry."
Santa's Little Helpers
Kal Penn and John Cho are perfect as always, but it's their supporting cast that really elevates (and escalates) their latest adventure. Neil Patrick Harris is back, of course, and filthier than ever. Danny Trejo has a memorable turn as someone dangerously close to Harold. There's also the introduction of the Waffle Bot, my new must-have toy of the holiday season, as well as one of the greatest babies ever seen on film. Sadly, no Chris Meloni (as far as I could see), but you'll get the next best thing in the doppelganger department.
"A Christmas Story"
Yes, the whole movie is a tribute to the holiday season, but there's one very specific homage paid to the comedy classic "A Christmas Story." No, it's not the "you'll shoot your eye out" refrain. It's another equally memorable scene, though this time, it plays out a lot more painfully. Gentlemen, if you're checking out "Harold & Kumar" this weekend, bring some ice with you — you're going to need it.
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