Sunday, September 2, 2012

Signal Watch Watches: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

I watch a lot of stuff I don't really care about when I'm on the elliptical at home, and this is a pretty good example.  It's not Christmas, I didn't even watch it in HD, let alone 3D, but after having intentionally watched the first two Harold & Kumar movies, I made a conscious decision to watch this one, too.  It's on HBO right now.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas would probably have benefited from both 3D and an intoxicant, and I don't think the makers of the movie really thought you'd be sitting through this one sober as a judge.  Released last year well in advance of Christmas, I didn't see it in the theater because, honestly, it's really hard for me to make it out to the movies during what Hollywood considers to be a huge movie going season.

Our story finds Harold and Kumar a few years on from their last adventure, which ended with them hanging out with George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas.  Harold has gone on to become a successful business-guy, and Kumar has dropped out of med school and spends his days hanging around his apartment smoking out and wishing for a WaffleBot.  Harold is terrified of his new father-in-law (played as Danny Trejo by Danny Trejo) and is set up in a nice house in the 'burbs where he and his wife long for a child.  Kumar has knocked up his girlfriend from the previous movie or two, but they've split up.  A magical package arrives, pulling Kumar and Harold together again into a series of madcap adventures with Thomas Lennon as an uptight and nerdy dad (see: his role in What to Expect When You're Expecting) and Amir Blumenfeld.

A Christmas tree goes up in flames, a decadent high school party is attended, our heroes become claymation, a musical number is shared with NPH, NPH happens, Santa comes into the picture...  It's a lot of goofy, fun stuff, honestly.  It's a Christmas movie aimed at the modern 18-30 year old, an audience which is usually served up action movies during this time of the year.  And it does have a fairly sweet message at the heart of the film, all about the power of friendship and the responsibility of adulthood.  And, you know...? Cool.

The movie is funnier than most of the annual holiday dreck, and may even qualify as reasonably funny holiday dreck that knows what it is - all while being just insanely offensive to just about everyone.  Truly, an equal-opportunity offender, but all with its heart in the right place and with a few wink-wink jokes thrown in for people who know that Kal Penn and John Cho have lives and a career outside these movies.

I don't want to damn the movie with faint praise, but it's not exactly going to be rivaling A Christmas Story for a sweet spot in the annual Christmas movie round-up - even if it finds a unique way to reference the film.

In short, if you've seen the two previous movies:

  • It's that
  • Only more so
  • In 3D
  • with a Christmas theme 

So.  You're on your own.

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