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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quick Review: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

The high seems to be wearing off. Too much of the third installment in the Harold & Kumar franchise, "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas," felt a bit forced and obvious. (It's still amazing that there's actually a H&K franchise to begin with. The first one, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," didn't become popular until it got to home video and cable, which is where I first saw it.) The film starts with our heroes apart. Harold (John Cho) has stopped smoking pot and gotten married, and now works on Wall Street. Kumar (Kal Penn) is still in a haze, and his reaction to the news that his girlfriend is pregnant causes her to storm out of his apartment. A package arrives addressed to Harold, and Kumar decides to deliver it himself. That leads to the two estranged friends, and their new best friends, heading out on Christmas Eve in a desperate search for the perfect tree for his visiting father-in-law (Danny Trejo). The typically wild and crazy night ensues. The most lively part of the film finds Harold and Kumar again running into Neil Patrick Harris, playing himself (but not really himself). In the previous H&K movie ("...Escape from Guantanamo Bay") Harris was shot and seemingly killed. There's a great explanation for why he's not dead, not to mention the whole gay-with-a-partner-and-kids deal. Still, there were a lot of stretches where I sat there, not laughing. Maybe if I saw it stoned? My grade: C-plus.

P.S. Unlike just about every 3D movie released, none of the theaters near me showed the 2D version. I was forced to pay the 3D surcharge and wear those stupid glasses over my regular glasses. That deserves a demerit in itself. I read that the 3D version was shown on a very large majority of the movie's screens. It still managed to underperform at the box office compared to both projections and the first sequel. Good.

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