Laurel and Hardy. Cheech and Chong. Harold and Kumar? Well sure, with a couple of more movies under their belts and maybe a decade or two of totin’ on the big screen, the boys may eventually get there. They already have two films under their belts, and who thought they’d have more than one? I certainly didn’t, which just goes to show you how much I know. The boys (and Neil Patrick Harris as Neil Patrick Harris) return for a third outing in “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas”, due out on DVD and Blu-ray February 7th, 2012 from New Line Home Video.
Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrive at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempts to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents – and Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree – going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar, through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree takes them through party heaven – and almost blows Christmas Eve sky high.
As “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” begins, it’s been a few years since the boys have seen each other. Harold (John Cho) has gone respectable, with a wife and an executive job. Kumar (Kal Penn), meanwhile … well, not so much. Kumar gets a much needed kick in the butt when his ex-girlfriend shows back up in his life and informs him that she’s pregnant. Determined to go straight, Kumar decides to take a package over to Harold as the first step towards adulthood. Hilarity, as they say, ensue.
To call what happens in “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” nonsensical is being kind. Of course, there’s no point to really adhere to any logical structure, as the franchise has, and always will be built on a foundation of, “These two guys get together, and weird shit happens.” Rinse and repeat. That’s essentially the plot of “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”, as the two former best buds reconnect and go on a merry adventure that includes a desperate virgin, a homicidal Russian gangster, a Wafflebot, and of course, Santa Claus, who gives the boys a ride. After Harold shoots him out of the sky with a shotgun, that is.
The film features plenty of laugh out loud moments, as well as its share of questionable gags. Drug-addicted toddlers? Check. Foul-mouth teenagers? Double check. Penis jokes? Triple check. Danny Trejo does some actual acting as Harold’s father-in-law, who carries a beef against Koreans because three of them shanked his mom in a dark alley. (Harold is Korean, FYI.) Paula Garcés has a small but sexy role as Harold’s wife. There are amusing supporting work by Bobby Lee, Amir Blumenfeld, and Tom Lennon of “Reno 911” fame, who plays Todd, Harold’s respectable next door neighbor and new uptight best friend who gets more than he bargains for when he tags along with Harold to find the perfect Christmas tree.
Fans of the franchise won’t find too much to complain about here, and I suspect even non-fans may be able to get into the film easily enough. There’s even a surprisingly heartfelt message about growing up that caught me somewhat off guard. Nice, that. The 3D is incredibly obnoxious on DVD, as random objects fly at the screen every 10 minutes or so. Without the benefit of watching the film in 3D, it really brings home just how pointless the 3D stuff is nowadays.
The film comes in an “Extra Dope Edition” (get it?) format that includes an Extended Version of the movie, which is about 7 minutes longer than the theatrical version. Want more of Todd and his shat-upon mini-van? You’re in luck.
Special features include “Through the Haze with Tom Lennon”, which is a series of short vignettes featuring Tom Lennon (Harold’s new suburban best bud Todd). Funny if you’re a fan of Lennon. If not? Well, not so much. I like the guy, so this was mostly funny.
“Bringing Harold and Kumar Claymation to Life” is a short 3 and a half minutes look at the making of the film’s claymation scene. Basically, the boys get doused with drugs and start thinking they’re suddenly claymation being chased by an evil snowmen. I expected this to be longer, and was somewhat surprised it’s so short. Surely, there had to be more to making this sequence? Apparently not.
The final bonus is about four minutes of deleted scenes. If you ever wanted to see Santa get riddled with bullets by Elias Koteas, here it is.