Harold Lee and Kumar Patel. Two guys you probably thought you’d never be seeing again. But you were wrong. And while the scenery has changed (the pair are now on the run from the Department of Homeland Security instead of trying to find their way to White Castle), this stoner duo has not.
Stoner bros unite
Harold Lee and Kumar Patel. Two guys you probably thought you’d never be seeing again. But you were wrong.
And while the scenery has changed (the pair are now on the run from the Department of Homeland Security instead of trying to find their way to White Castle), this stoner duo has not.
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay picks up right where we left the pair at the end of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Harold is fantasizing in the shower about the kiss he just shared with Maria, his dreamy neighbor, when Kumar comes in to do some business on the toilet.
The first lines of the film are Harold’s: “What the fuck? What the fuck?! What the FUCK?!?” to which Kumar responds, “Dude, I’m taking the best dump of my entire life!”
Welcome back, pointless gross-out humor. We missed you (kind of).
The two then fly to Amsterdam in the hopes of finding Maria and legal weed, only to have Kumar slightly screw it up by bringing a bong onto the airplane. Air marshals tackle them, they go back to America, and a power-mad lackey from the Department of Homeland Security (who functions as the movie’s whipping post for the Bush Administration) sends them off to Guantanamo Bay, where they quickly break out and spend the rest of the movie trying to run from the authorities and clear their names.
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay follows a standard line of comedic sequels that are less funny than the original, but only slightly. It’s pretty much episode two here. Screenwriters Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg haven’t even penned anything else since the first one. Harold’s still responsible; Kumar’s still an idiot. A drug-crazed Neil Patrick Harris is still showing up for no real reason. An ugly man and his beautiful wife still have strange sexuality. The law is still racist.
The good part is, the movie’s also still entertaining, and there are some satisfying scenes that come only with having known these guys for a few years (The flashback scene of a dorky Kumar smoking pot for the first time is hilarious, as is the snapshot of a gothy Harold with a devil-lock).
And while the small amounts of drama and romance are obviously boring and stilted, it also doesn’t matter. This shit is funny.
Don’t get me wrong, this movie is bona fide stupid, possibly more so than the original, and there are some definite groaners of scenes, like the “bottomless” party an old friend from college throws (“You know the topless party? I decided to start something different.”) featuring naked size-zero women who obviously want to do nothing else but giggle and fawn over our exhausted and likely smelly heroes. (Hurwitz and Schlossberg have obviously not forgotten Hollywood’s golden rule: Objectifying nudity equals dollars.)
But most of the movie is funny, and it’s not in spite of its dumbness, but because of it. Let’s face it, smart comedy has its place, but sometimes Judd Apatow and Jason Reitman need to shove over and, as George W. Bush tells Harold and Kumar later in the flick, “Shut the fuck up and smoke my weed!”
Speaking of which. While I would never advocate or condone the use of illegal substances, I must say that there was a red-eyed couple behind me in the theater who enjoyed the movie infinitely more than I did, and something tells me it’s the way Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay was meant to be seen.
Harold and Kumar aren’t much of a dynamic duo. Their existence itself isn’t that interesting; they’ll never be in the “Guy Movie Duo Hall of Fame” with the likes of Jay and Bob, or Jules and Vincent. But they do seem to have an awful lot of fun together. Kind of like this movie.