On Prancer... on Donner... on Harold... on Kumar? With Halloween just over and Thanksgiving looming in the wind - bam - we get our first Christmas flick. Here's my advice: prepare for A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. I think it's genius for the guys who bring stoner humor, lame sex jokes, bodily functions and bad taste to the screen to beat everyone to the holiday punch, and it's in 3-D no less. That said, this movie is amazingly stupid.
I actually liked H&K Go to White Castle, much to my surprise, but I walked out of H&K Escape from Guantanamo because it was that moronic. H&K X-mas isn't as insulting, but ripe with stereotypes; the latest addition to this unlikely franchise boasts an extensive list of bad and unfinished ideas. Many setups fall as flat as a squished pot brownie while others just glide along in wimpiness. Only a few jokes explode with originality. The film seems to be on a visible collision course with mediocrity and predictable Airplane-style humor. I have a hard time relating to comedies where I can see the punch lines coming from a mile away.
The most watchable aspects of this flick are Kal Penn and John Cho's deadpan performances. They stay uncannily believable while the movie stretches the imagination like a rubber band around the equator. This flick milks the stupid out of every scene, but the kick-ass 3-D actually works in its favor. I enjoyed the in-yer-face 3-D marijuana smoke, but that antic was dropped too quickly.
The hit-and-miss material comes at you like a smorgasbord, allowing you to decide which bit is funny (or not), but like a cafeteria line it keeps moving. There's a timely rip on Occupy Wall Street, a ton of dick jokes and Neil Patrick Harris, referred to with superstar status as NPH, is (according to this scenario) only pretending to be gay so he can secretly score chicks and remain a huge babe magnet. But there's one shtick that is so over-the-edge wrong that I don't know anyone who won't take issue with it: the scene of a toddler getting high on weed, cocaine and ecstasy.
In the end, H&K'S 3D X-mas is wrapped in a weed-soaked ribbon and bow, too touching for its own good. It's like a stoner Hallmark card, which defeats the purpose of the entire dementedly satirical gross-out jamboree we've been invited to.
A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas
Starring Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, Thomas Lennon, Danny Trejo
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson