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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Kal Penn, John Cho, Danny Trejo, Neil Patrick Harris, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Elias Koteas, Richard Riehle and Patton Oswalt
DIRECTED BY
Todd Strauss-Schulson
SCREENPLAY
Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
90 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Warner Brothers
DVD EXTRAS
tbd
 "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas" Review 
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By now, you should already be quite clear on whether you give one iota about another Harold & Kumar film whether that be an adventure to White Castle, Guantanamo or searching for a Christmas tree. If you've ever cared for a Harold & Kumar film, then there's virtually no chance that you'll care for this 3-D, extra naughty but still fairly nice holiday anti-classic.

Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) are back for another go around as America's favorite Asian-American slacker pals and mischief makers. This time around, they've accidentally burned down a prized Christmas tree and head out in search of a replacement.

What? You were expecting an actual plot?

Plot has been secondary from day one for the Harold & Kumar films, but Americans have loved them anyway. This time around, the ante is upped with considerably more weed, more nudity (including claymation genitalia!), more sex, more sacrilege and, to top it all off, 3-D imagery.

First things first. If you pay to see A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas in 3-D then you fully deserve to get ripped off. If there's even a small part of you that is wondering if they can somehow make this film a relevant 3-D film, then you've obviously destroyed a few too many brain cells smoking the weed. Of course, if that's true you'll also likely be entering the theatre so stoned that it won't matter anyway. So, go for it.

While I have no idea where John Cho's at in real life, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas kicks off with a semblance of reality as Kumar has settled down, given up the weed and become a bit of a family man. In real life, Kal Penn found himself working in the Obama administration for awhile before deciding to head back to Hollywood.

Settling down, indeed.

A mysterious package arrives with a certain familiar substance, and our two friends have suddenly lit up once again and, once again, it has resulted on catastrophe. While plot's irrelevant, the film is essentially a series of gags as the two encounter increasingly absurd circumstances on their search to make things right ranging from a high school party with LSD-laced egg not to a mobster-laden affair to, welcome back Neil Patrick Harris, a freakishly cheesy holiday TV special hosted by Harris himself, giving once again the film's best performance in a fantastic send-up of himself and all things illegal and sexual.

3-D isn't the point here, a specific point of director Todd Strauss-Schulson, who pokes fun at the latest Hollywood gimmick by throwing almost everything you can imagine at the screen in such a way that you know he's really only having fun with the effect and, most likely, laughing hilariously at the idea that some folks have paid to see the film in 3-D.

There's a terrific claymation sequence that works because the filmmaker gets the tone just right and manages to figure out just the perfect way to use Danny Trejo.

Did I mention there's a lot of weed in the film?

Oh, and Jesus. Jesus is in the film.

Really, if you're easily offended this isn't the film for you as it borders on South Park style-sacrilege. Yet, much like South Park, this is a film that has a point to it (Really!) and underneath all its naughtiness is a surprisingly feel good and friendly film that certainly will never qualify as a holiday classic but it will surely make you laugh this holiday season.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  
    The Official Rating Guideline
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    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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