Harold and Kumar bring hemp to the holiday season

    Harold and Kumar (John Cho and Kal Penn, respectively) take on Christmas in their latest film, with a little help from Neil Patrick Harris. Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment.

    Instead of wreaths, opt for some reefer this holiday season with A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. In the latest installment of their stoner comedy series, John Cho and Kal Penn bring back their hilarious brand of raunchy hash-centric humor, but instead of burgers or bombs, this one has boughs of holly in addition to blunts and even some blow.

    At the start of this movie, the boys have grown up and grown apart, with Harold living the dream in a big house (with bay windows and sconces) with his spicy Latina dreamgirl, Maria, whose Christmas-enthusiast family also happens to be in town. This, of course, is an excuse to bring the two tokers back together when a mysterious package from Santa arrives and leads to another crazy adventure that has them bonding over bongs, babies and beer pong all night long.

    This movie also introduces some new friends to the Harold & Kumar family, like Harold’s neurotic, minivan-driving Kumar replacement, Todd, who makes for some of the funniest parts of the movie in his shock and awkwardness, and of course, his baby (a hilarious move that’s very The Hangover). Speaking of brand new buddies, in Kumar’s corner is the super hip (and horny) Adrian, played by none other than Amir from College Humor’s “Jake & Amir” shorts, who drags the duo to a tween Christmas get-together at the house of one of New York City’s biggest mob bosses. Neil Patrick Harris also makes a reappearance, of course, as it wouldn’t be a Harold & Kumar movie without the lady-loving NPH, who makes for some of the funniest (as well as most musical) moments in the movie.

    While Harold and Kumar may be maturing, the movie is still a stoner buddy (haha) flick with the same goofball humor and race-centric jokes that made it a comedy staple on college campuses.

    And while the line-up may have changed a bit and Harold and Kumar may be maturing, it’s still a stoner buddy (haha) flick with the same goofball humor and race-centric jokes that made it a comedy staple on college campuses, though these do seem to have taken a backseat to spoofs on current events and trends. 

    A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas shows a more informed side to the duo’s comedic repertoire though, and the fact that no pop culture or current event is safe from derision works well for the film, especially since everything from shake weights to the Catholic priest scandals are made fun of. They even go so far as to poke fun at certain genres of film, including kitschy horror, musicals and, of course, claymation (though unlike Rudolph, their noses are white from cocaine), all to humorous effect.

    The only downside of the entire movie is the seemingly pointless 3D, which pretty much only serves to blow smoke rings or cocaine clouds into the audience. Cho said that the 3D component is meant to satirize “an overblown technology,” at times it feels like a little too much, especially when genitalia projected on a 30 foot screen is involved.

    Despite this drawback though, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is still a rip-roaring hour-and-a-half that’s much more entertaining than never-ending family bonding or Boxing Day bargain shopping. So if you’re going to see any gimmicky Christmas movie this season, put down Charlie Brown and enjoy this stocking-strewn stoner comedy that’ll have you indulging in some bûche de noël instead of burgers to satisfy those Midnight Mass munchies.


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