Sunday, February 7, 2016

‘Harold and Kumar’ makes bold moves with 3D medium

About the movie
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
MPAA rating:
for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence
Running time:
Release date:
Patton Oswalt; Paula Garcés; John Cho; Elias Koteas; Danny Trejo; Eddie Kaye Thomas; Thomas Lennon; Danneel Ackles; Kal Penn; Neil Patrick Harris
Directed by:
Todd Strauss-Schulson

THERE ARE FOUR people of note making use of 3-D technology this holiday season: Scorsese, Spielberg and Harold and Kumar.

The latter have given us "A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas," and it makes gung-ho use of the format. It has become fashionable to make use of 3-D by avoiding, at all costs, the cheesy spectacle of someone tossing an object at your face.

How refreshing, then, to find Harold and Kumar boldly engaging the fourth wall - throwing snowballs at your face, blowing smoke rings of marijuana smoke at your face.

To be in the proper frame of mind for the new "Harold and Kumar," you'd probably have to break a couple of laws, especially if you're driving.

I saw it sober, so I don't think it measures up to the original, but it does preserve the franchise's multiethnic flavor and lowbrow appeal, although it seems more "Cheech and Chong" than ever.

The story finds Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) in early midlife, separated now by varying degrees of maturity. Harold is married with a nice house in the 'burbs, Kumar is jobless and sapped of all direction and ambition, in part because his lips are welded to a bong.

What could bring these old friends together? Why, a Christmas miracle. Kumar receives a package meant for Harold, delivers it to his house, and ends up "helping" Harold in his quest to find the perfect Christmas tree.

This involves statutory rape, Russian mobsters, firing a shotgun at Santa, visiting Jesus' bachelor pad, Thomas Lennon, Danny Trejo, and of course, Neil Patrick Harris. All in 3-D (drugs, drinking, Doogie).

"Harold and Kumar" is the kind of low-rent franchise that has a tough time with prosperity - a once obscure sleeper now a major holiday 3-D release. Even Harris has gone legit; he's an Oscar night performer with a long-running TV show.

And much has changed, even since "White Castle," just a decade ago. It was easier to make transgressive comedy when the culture was less polluted.

Daily News Film Critic
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter