Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Movie Review #8: "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" (2011)

Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Harold (John Cho) sets out on a quest to replace his father-in-law's perfect Christmas tree after it is accidentally burned down when a joint sparked by his old friend Kumar (Kal Penn) gets caught in its branches, even after Harold asked him not to smoke in his house.  

"A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" is the third installment in the "Harold & Kumar" comedy franchise. It is directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and is his cinematic directorial debut. He would also go on to direct the horror comedy "The Final Girls." Of course, this film stars John Cho and Kal Penn as the titular Harold and Kumar.

The two former besties have grown apart since we last saw them. Harold is a married, successful business man, and Kumar still sits around in his trashy apartment smoking copious amounts of weed and not doing much else. Harold is having trouble earning his father-in-law's respect, but since Mr. Perez, played by Danny Trejo, loves Christmas, Harold is trying to make it the best possible by going all out in heart and home. Mr. Perez grows his own Christmas trees, and Harold takes it upon himself to decorate it so the extended family can go to midnight mass in the city. Just then, Kumar receives a package for Harold at the apartment, so they are forced together once again. In the package is a giant spliff which, when sparked, burns down Mr. Perez's perfect tree, and Harold's hopes for respect and approval from his father-in-law along with it. A new crazy quest begins as Harold and Kumar search to find another tree on Christmas eve to replace the one that burned. In the same vein as the original "Harold & Kumar," their quest is constantly thwarted as they are sent down wild and crazy tangents, even into a world of clay-mation, all with the help of a little 3D technology along the way.

Of course, this movie is ripe and chock full of stoner humor. There is a whole running gag about a toddler inadvertently getting high on a multitude of drugs, so if that offends you, don't even consider this sequel as an option because the joke seriously runs throughout. the. entire. movie. It also has a lot of toilet humor. For example, several cars get pissed on and pelted with feces, and as always, there are a couple of dick jokes for good measure. They are not completely devoid of holiday spirit as one penis pun is an homage to the classic "A Christmas Story," which is not exactly fun if you can guess which scene it's mimicking. This film definitely doesn't tap dance around any subject and pulls no punches when it comes to its signature brand of raunchy humor. Some of it works and manages to make the audience laugh, but there is the occasional groan as well, and not little groans, either, big, full-fledged groans.

As far as adult-oriented Christmas comedies go, "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" isn't the best option out there, but it's certainly not the worst. If you liked "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," there is a strong chance you will enjoy this sequel as well.


My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 68%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
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Last Christmas, we were watching: "A Christmas Carol"

Two Christmases ago, we were watching: "Christmas With the Kranks"

Three Christmases ago, we were watching: "Scrooged"

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