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Home Reviews Cinema reviews Review: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Review: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 08 December 2011 13:58
A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas review
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Cast: John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris
Certificate: 18

Back in 2004, I saw Lost in Translation with a friend who was high. He came out afterwards: "Whoah! That was like everything was in 3D!" I promptly made a snide comment (let's pretend it was something witty and clever). 

Seven years later, Todd Strauss-Schulson has recreated that movie-going sensation with A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. It's not big, it's not clever, but for my red-eyed mate who gawked at a purportedly three-dimensional Bill Murray way before anyone had heard of Avatar, it's perfect. 

Harold (Cho) and Kumar (Penn) have drifted apart since they escaped from Guantanamo Bay. Kumar still gets high, even while his ex is telling him that she's pregnant. Harold, meanwhile, is a successful businessman who's more concerned with getting the Christmas tree right to please his scowling father-in-law (Danny Trejo).

One chance visit from Kumar later, and a joint has burned down the tree and ruined Christmas. And so the pair embark on a miscellaneous string of japes. Mostly involving drugs. And penises. And babies. And sex. And drugs. Did I mention the penises?

It chunders along with the odd giggle, mostly relying on childish sex jokes and cheap 3D tricks. But it knows it. Strauss-Schulson takes any opportunity to chuck everything he has at the camera, from hotdogs and bodily fluids to snowballs of cocaine. Usually in slow-motion.

Most of the dumb pranks (a baby high on crack, a Ukrainian gangster) simply aren't funny. But just as the silliness starts to get old, Neil Patrick Harris turns up - playing himself. Addicted to cocaine and pretending to be gay, he has all the charm and wit of, well, Neil Patrick Harris. For the 10 minutes he's on screen, this immature mess is hilarious.

Other ideas, such as shotgunning Santa in the face and a talking robot that makes waffles, are equally inspired - one brilliant claymation sequence sees New York terrorised by a 60ft snowman. Inevitably, it involves a plasticine cock.

For all the small bursts of imagination, though, this is a lazy seasonal comedy that relies on John Cho and Kal Penn's likeable bromance to make it all work. And yet when the final message arrives about getting high putting up with your annoying friends, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas somehow manages to hit the seasonal sweet spot. In 20 years, it will only be remembered as the film in which a guy gets his frozen penis stuck to a pole. But for Harold & Kumar fans, that's probably exactly what they want for Christmas.


It's very Harold & Kumar. And very 3D. It won't get you laughing the whole time, but if you bring some drugs with you, you'll snort more than a few times.



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