When Harold Met Kumar…

April 27, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in movies | 3 Comments

Kumar: In eight hours, we are going to be in Amsterdam.
Harold: This is amazing.
Kumar: I know, dude. It’s going to be exactly like Eurotrip, except it’s not going to suck.

Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay
AMC Stony Brook – April 25, 2008

The premise of Harold and Kumar is set out to appeal to a certain “demographic” if you will. Following in the footsteps of such classics as Dazed and Confused, the Cheech and Chong series, Half Baked, and well, you get the picture. Escape from Guantanamo Bay is the continuation of what I hope to be many hilarious installments to come. One reviewer on IMDB claims, “If stoner comedy has a place in the satire canon, this is one of the best.”

The first movie consists of a single objective: Two best friends have serious munchies and are jonesing for White Castle. Hence the title of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. If you have not seen the introductory film yet, it is the position of Orgconfuz that it is not imperative that you see it before the sequel. It’s sort of like Terminator 2 – an awesome movie in and of itself, but it would be nice to see the first movie, if only for reference. Flashbacks and exposition take care of setting up the sequel’s plotline, which is Harold and Kumar must go to Amsterdam to find the woman Harold loves.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a movie without some adventures along the way. The most delightful of which is the inclusion of Neil Patrick Harris as “Himself” in both films. Though his persona is clearly fabricated for comic effect, the revered star of “Doogie Howser, M.D.” pokes fun at his celebrity and adds tremendous laughs! (Without spoiling anything, I advise you to wait until the absolute last possible second before you leave the theater. You won’t regret it!)

I declare Shenanigans! The sequel’s plot is simple like the first one, yet somehow convoluted… including many “wtf” moments but all in good fun. Structured similarly to the Freak show section of the first movie, I particularly enjoyed the appearance of Missi Pyle, a southern woman whose clearly a fan of Sex and the City. The opening titles even feature the song “What a Wonderful World” as sung by Louis Armstrong, inspiring the title of this review. I cannot in good faith take credit for this joke without footnoting my dear friend and loyal Orgconfuz reader Turtle, whom I constantly and blatantly rip off. Love ya, man!

John Cho (Harold Lee) and Kal Penn (Kumar Patel) are fantastic and have terrific chemistry, on par with the quintessential “buddy films” of all time. I’m still trying to figure out which one is the “straight man” in this comedy duo… they play off of each other so well.

Also great are the supporting roles of Rosenberg (Eddie Kaye Thomas who doesn’t even have to do anything to be funny) and Goldstein (David Krumholtz). Goldstein’s Katie Holmes/Holocaust comparison from the first movie is one I’ll never forget. Their combined presence and dialogue gives great punch to the film. Incidentally, I’ve had a little crush on Krumholtz since Addams Family Values. At the risk of sounding school-girlish… So cute!! It might be just me, but there may have been a missed joke opportunity during the coin scene (pictured above). The writers could have satired Krumholtz’s own show Numb3rs by using rapid eye movement for a second then off the cuff, giving the correct number of pennies that fell. Could have played off nicely with the existing joke. But then again, that would assume that Numb3rs and H&K share the same audience… (Sorry David, but is that show even still on? ouch, I plead the fifth lol.)

Anyway, it was a fun time. Worth seeing in the theater on opening night, mostly for the atmosphere of its core audience, with an approx. age range of 16-25… Yeah I felt old, but that’s okay.

RATING: ****/5
Recommendation: Probably won’t own it on DVD, but it was definitely worth seeing.

(Sidenote: If you are in the mood for this type of film, try Bongwater. Everyone and their mother is in it and nobody I talk to has even heard of it. Good times!)

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3 Comments »

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  1. This movie was freaking awesome. Funny thing is the night before, I went to White Castle!

  2. Did you take off another star for the penis? 🙂

    So is Numb3rs guy really that short or is Eddie just really tall?

    NPH! NPH! NPH!

    I would add an extra star if you have a good audience.

  3. Clearly I need a star breakdown. Ill put it in the Movies page for your reference.


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