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“A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas” brings exactly what you expect, in a good way

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“A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas” brings exactly what you expect, in a good way

Wesley Emblidge

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The “Harold and Kumar” film series has always been about one thing: madness. Insane, drug induced, sex-filled madness. What starts as just two stoners (Kal Penn and Kumar and John Cho as Harold) trying to get some White Castle burgers becomes an adventure with strippers, orgies, drug trips and Neil Patrick Harris (playing a spoof version of himself in all three films, and as he says in the latest installment, “see you in the fourth!”). In the sequel, the two friends wind up in Guantanamo Bay (The classic bong-bomb mix up on an airplane) and have to escape, evade cops, the Klu Klux Klan, and smoke marijuana with George W. Bush. This third time around, the pair is back, but it’s been three years since we last saw them, and over that time they’ve grown apart. Harold is married and working on Wall Street, while Kumar is still getting high, and not much else. But all it takes is them reuniting one more time for more madness to ensue.
Harold’s wife Maria (Paula Garcés) has her family come stay with them for Christmas. In order to impress her family, Harold promises to take care of decorating the Christmas tree whole the rest of them go to Midnight Mass. But when Kumar comes by and accidentally burns the christmas tree down with a lit joint, the adventure of the film to get an identical tree and bring it home by 2 a.m. begins. They are delayed by mobsters, a drug trip where everything is in claymation, beer pong, an essentially pointless musical number, and more as they are joined by their various friends.
The supporting cast is also great, with Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) as a neighbor of Harold. Lennon gets dragged along with them, and brings along his baby daughter who amidst all the madness ends up smoking pot, snorting cocaine and taking ecstasy. It’s one of the jokes that spans the whole film and seems to work the best: something about a 3 year-old on drugs never seems to get old. Amir Blumenfeld (“Jake & Amir”) and Danny Trejo (“Machete”) both appear as well, even the great Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) appears in the opening scene as a mall Santa selling Kumar grass. The pair proceed to blow 3D smoke rings at the audience, taking advantage of another new part of the series: 3D.
The film uses 3D in the most crude sense possible: people pointing out of the screen at us, ping-pong balls and eggs fly at us, and at one point Kumar’s claymation genitals pop out of the screen. Say goodbye to any good Christmas movie memories, this film even ruins the classic scene from “A Christmas Story,” where a character’s tongue is stuck to a pole. If you can’t guess what this movie switches a tongue out for, then it really isn’t a film for you.
However in the end, no matter how good or bad the movie is at the center, it really is aimed at a certain kind of people (Shall we say, “young people”). That’s who will enjoy it, the people who it isn’t aimed at (Such as the elderly folks at my screening) will likely hate it. If you’re a Harold and Kumar fan, this installment won’t disappoint, however if what you’ve read about the series so far doesn’t really appeal to you, don’t waste your time.

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“A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas” brings exactly what you expect, in a good way