It’s been six years since the Guantanamo Bay fiasco and Harold and Kumar agreed to disagree. They have no contact with one another. Harold finds life easier without the troublemaker and Kumar doesn’t so much but smoke pot.
He’s annoyed that his girlfriend is pregnant because he suspects it will force him to grow up Meanwhile, Harold’s doing everything possible to impregnate his wife while living a conventional married life in the suburbs. He’s motivated, disciplined and has developed a fondness for things like well-designed sconces and bay windows.
A mystery package arrives for Harold at the apartment he once shared with Kumar. Curiosity gets the better of him so he hand delivers it, finding a Harold he barely recognizes. Harold has just sent his extended family of Mexican in-laws off to midnight mass so he can decorate the tree his bullying father in law (Danny Trejo) grew for the occasion.
Kumar’s arrival with the mystery box throws Harold off and when they light up the huge joint in the unmarked box, they inadvertently set the tree on fire.
Thus begins the Christmas Eve sprint to find a new one. The clock’s ticking; they have to somehow repair their relationship and get the job done, but face a constant stream of obstacles each worse and funnier than the last.
They find themselves onstage in a Christmas musical extravaganza co-starring their old pal NPH, in a sexual fix in a Russians mobster’s home, dousing a baby girl in several hails of cocaine, accompanying Santa in his sleigh before he’s shot in the head and Harold getting his privates get stuck on an icy pole – one of many references to A Christmas Story. That’s the kind of outrage you can expect in A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.
The film actually makes the case for 3D a little stronger; they play to it and it brings the shattering glass, bodily fluids, and what-have-you right into our shocked faces. It may not have been what the 3D originators had in mind, but this seems just about perfect.
Kal Penn and John Cho are so in synch with the roles of Kumar and Harold that they seem not to be working as much as playing. You have to wonder if the series is a bit juvenile for these thirty-something actors. Penn worked in the White House’s Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs and Cho’s creating an impressive roster of TV and film roles. But hell, no! It’s perfect! Turns out I missed them!
But Neil Patrick Harris’ sequences may be the strongest in the film. He has showmanship rarely seen in an actor of his generation; he brings the most flamboyant yet heterosexual Broadway persona he can muster and marries it to his own and kismet!
Written by Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson
Opens Nov. 4
MPAA: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence