I loved the first Harold and Kumar movie that was released back in 2004. It was something that blended real life issues to a comedy about having the munchies. Naturally, I couldn't wait for the sequel. The sequel Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay was alright, but it was only an imitation of the original with the volume turned up. It lacked the creativity that was seen in the first one and it was nowhere near as smart. I was excited when I heard that they were coming out with A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas and I was hoping that they would fix the issues that were in the sequel. It's always great to see a good comedy with a strong backbone.
After not seeing each other for a couple of years, Harold and Kumar (John Cho and Kal Penn) eventually grow apart. Harold has become a successful business man that's desperate to impress is father-in-law and Kumar is a bachelor trying to stay busy by getting high. These two eventually reconnect after a package for Harold lands on Kumar's doorstep. By going to Harold's home, Kumar ends up bringing back the mischief that Harold was doing his best to get away from after they are forced to go around town in an attempt to find a new tree for Christmas.
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas wasn't a bad movie, but it could have been quite a bit better. It's jumbled up and lacks the overall quality of the first film. This movie appeared to be thrown together with no actual direction at times. It was more over the top than the first two in the franchise and they tried too hard to make it vulgar, obscene and offensive. That took away from it a little, because that stuff is supposed to feel far more natural than it does here. To be truly successful at pulling these types of movies off, you need to have substance and intelligence to go along with the crudeness in my opinion. It seems that with each film that they come out with, they lose more and more of what made it special in the first place.
Some of the jokes were funny early on and then they hit a wall for awhile before picking back up again. Some of the more boring parts of the comedy came from me being able to figure out what they were going to do or say before it actually happened. That really shouldn't happen when you're talking about comedies that are supposed to be outlandish. As the jokes ran hot and cold, most everything else felt disjointed or simply plugged into certain spots. One of the few consistent parts of this movie was surprisingly the 3D. There was no need for it, but they actually used it better than most other films that could do good things with it.
Cho and Penn were good and again played their characters well. Harold and Kumar are living in a much more cartoonish world than they used to, but they seem to be the same people that they've always been. Neil Patrick Harris was basically useless and had very little to do in this movie. He was only in it for a scene and it wasn't really funny or necessary. He mentions seeing them in a fourth movie, but I don't know how they can keep this up with Harold, Kumar and many of the other returning characters getting older and moving on with their lives. I'd be all for another one if they can pull it off and make it good, because I do like the characters. They just need more to work with.
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Neil Patrick Harris
Film Length: 89 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures