I have to admit, it made me wince a little to see Kal Penn (Kumar) and John Cho (Harold) return to these stoner roles after Penn worked for the White House under the Obama administration, and both actors put a decent amount of other roles under their belts (Penn on House, Cho in Star Trek and Flash Forward). Yet here they are again, and at least the characters initially are as reluctant to revisit the now 30-something men after they moved on years ago.
Yes, Harold and Kumar are estranged! Kumar is still a pothead, which is illustrated by him repeatedly blowing 3D smoke right out of the screen. Harold is a successful Wall Street something-something, which is illustrated by 3D eggs being thrown in his general direction as he runs past protestors when leaving the office. But the guys haven’t seen each other in years. Harold is now married to a sexy, beautiful woman (Paula Garcés), has a nice suburban house, and will be hosting the in-laws for Christmas. Kumar is an unwashed, unshaved slacker, whose girlfriend Vanessa dumped him months ago. But you know something will bring the two together again. And, unsurprisingly, it is in the shape of a big, phat doobie.
The plot is negligible. There is a scary Mexican father-in-law (the appearance of Danny Trejo in this role caused howls of delight in the audience). There is Harold’s new wussy BFF Todd (Tom Lennon), toddler in tow who gets entangled in the hijinks. There’s a Ukrainian gangster (Elias Koteas). There’s Kumar’s new best friend Adrian (Amir Blumenfeld), who really could have gone away completely. And of course, there is Evil Neil Patrick Harris, who, unsurprisingly, gets some of the biggest laughs of the movie.
If claymation penises offend you, you may want to skip this one. If toddlers laughing while covered in cocaine powder makes you clench your fists, you should definitely avoid this. If you sit stone-faced through exaggerated racial stereotypes (everyone from Koreans to Jews to blacks), well… you know. Otherwise, guess what? You’ll probably gets some chuckles out of this surprisingly good-hearted Christmas buddy movie.
The Extra Dope Edition may not boast 3D, but it offers some fun, though a bit sparse, extras (where the heck is more information about the Wafflebot?!?!). There are some deleted scenes, a featurette about the claymation in the film, an extended cut of the film (6 extra minutes), and “Through the Haze of Tom Lennon,” a bunch of short bits from the funny man who plays Todd, worst dad of a toddler ever.