Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)

Last weekend I got the opportunity to see the Harold and Kumar sequel. Writers Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg do double duty this time and step behind the camera as directors. I enjoyed the first one immensely. It was a perfect blend of stoner comedy and road trip movie with one or two of the now standard gross out scenes. Unfortunately, I enjoyed the sequel a bit less. Gone are the two kind-hearted stoners and the biting (yet funny) satire about racial stereotypes. In their place is a traditional comedy with characters who point at something with outrage and exaggerated redneck stereotypes.

The events take place shortly after the first movie. Harold and Kumar return home after a night of binging on White Castle burgers. They start to follow Harold's crush to Amsterdam, but get kicked off the plane when Kumar tries to light a bong. The boys are then chased through Guantanamo Bay and across The South leading toward a climax in Texas.

Along the way they encounter a bottomless party, an inbred redneck Cyclops, a KKK rally, and have another run-in with the legendary NPH. Instead of a complete story, the movie feels like it’s just running its protagonists through a series of sketches. Still, it’s good for a chuckle or two, but nowhere near as funny as the original.


StephenD said...

A little backstory first, I went to high school with Jon and Hayden. So naturally, I went to see Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle on opening night and was eagerly anticipating the sequel.

I'm in the same boat as you. I hate comparing sequels to the original (since they rarely ever stack up), but I thought the first one was funnier and much smarter than the sequel. They did tend to go more "mainstream comedy" with this one. That doesn't mean I won't go see the third, though.

Cormac Brown said...

That's a damn shame, the first was a classic and they had enough time to come up with something other than some disjointed sketches. It sounds like Hurwitz and Schlossberg should do a little less indulging of a certain substance...