Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

| April 29, 2008

At long last, Rambo has been defeated for best movie of the year thus far. Facing stiff comedic competition from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Harold and Kumar are back in the most offensive, hilarious piece of cinema since Superbad. And yes, this is definitely one sequel that surpasses its original.
I couldn’t have been more pleased of the decision to ditch the Harold and Kumar Go to Amsterdam idea. That horse has been beaten so many times, I can’t even count. I’m glad they came up with a much funnier idea in having them escape from prison, and even more so keeping them in America. The previews make this movie out to be way more cartoony than it actually is, and that’s a shame, too. Not only does it hold its level of sophistication (in comparison to all the other slapstick shit out there), it even manages to squeeze in some tender moments along the way. Any type of comedy that gets away with a little heart gets a good grade in my book (also see: Forgetting Sarah Marshall).
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay has so many consistent laugh-out-loud moments that I had trouble breathing before the credits rolled. The flick is crammed with racial jokes, gross-out gags and subtle pop culture references–but all of them were funny, and nothing ever gets taken too far. Hell, even the scenes where they smoke weed with President Bush were executed properly. The actors were spot-on with their roles and never got too goofy with the material, which is a fine line that most comedies cross nowadays. However, if you’re easily offended, this is definitely not the movie for you. This puppy is filled with black jokes, Asian jokes, terrorist jokes, masturbation jokes, incest jokes, Jew jokes, gay jokes, yuppie jokes, Doogie Howser jokes, etc. This flick follows my rule of R-rated comedy which is- if you’re going to offend someone, its better to offend everyone while you’re at it. And the writers cover all the bases, for sure.
Special kudos to Neil Patrick Harris for playing himself for the second time and still making it work. I swear, I don’t know who came up with the genius idea to put him in these movies, but the audience cheers whenever he shows up. I also want to give a shout out to actor Christopher Meloni (Law and Order: SVU) for giving his second kickass performance of the franchise. He was the guy that played Freak Show in White Castle and now he’s back as the Grand Wizard of the KKK. And of course, the man that runs the show is Kal Penn. I doubt I would enjoy these movies nearly as much if John Cho flew solo (though he has his moments of humor too). You rock, Kal!
Thank writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg for stepping behind the camera to direct (after writing Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle). I was thoroughly impressed with their execution and comedic timing, especially since this was their first directing gig. I can only hope they get more jobs in the future in this genre. They just made me hold my piss for two hours because I couldn’t walk away, not even for 20 seconds. I kept waiting for an unfunny scene to arrive. It never did.
Grade: A

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