Published on May 13th, 2008 | by simeon0
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
It has been four years since Harold and Kumar embarked on their munchies induced quest for White Castle hamburgers. The resulting chaos and mayhem that resulted led to solid box office and DVD sales and spawned the sequel “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay”.
The film picks up at the conclusion of the last film and finds Harold (John Cho), planning a trip to Amsterdam with his friend Kumar (Kal Penn), in order to surprise his new girlfriend Maria (Paula Garces). Kumar is thrilled at the idea of the trip fueled in large part due to Amsterdam’s very tolerant attitude towards drugs.
As they prepare to board their plane, the duo meet Kumar’s old girlfriend Vanessa (Danneel Harris), who is about to marry a powerful and conservative Texan named Colton (Eric Winter), who has designs on being the President someday.
Unwilling to let on that he still holds a torch for Vanessa, Kumar attempts to get high during the flight and ends up getting himself and Harold mistaken for terrorists. Before the duo know what has hit them they have run afoul of Homeland Security agent Ron Fox (Rob Corddry), and are sharing a cell in Guantanamo Bay.
Desperate to escape their plight, the duo soon find themselves on the lam with Fox and the nations law enforcement officials in hot pursuit.
Harold and Kumar hope to make it to Texas in order to seek help from Colton as Harold thinks that due to their friendship and his connections he can get the duo out of their predicament. Kumar is all for this as not only is it the best way to get out of their situation but he secretly thinks he can get Vanessa to come back to him before it is too late.
Along the way the duo look to find help from their bizarre friends, and run into all manner of obstacles ranging from the Klan, Rednecks, and Neil Patrick Harris in a very funny cameo, and countless other bizarre people and situations.
The film is crude but if you were a fan of the last film, you will likely find this film very funny. The chemistry between Cho and Penn is good and it is fun to see the misadventures of the two best friends and hear them argue amongst themselves over their plight. Harold being the more level headed of the two is furious over the irresponsible Kumar and how he got them into this situation, but he is willing to stand by his friend to a point, which results in one of the fun moments in the film when the duo end up in a brothel in Texas.
Penn and Cho also seem to be having a good time playing the characters and despite the abundance of crude and drug related humor, there are some genuinely funny moments in the film and it is better than the first film in the series.
Those expecting a deep plot and characters will be disappointed, but if you came into this film looking for those elements, then you must have gotten into Kumar’s stash. That being said, take the film for what it is, and enjoyable if light piece of comedy, and you are likely to be glad that you are along for the ride.
3.5 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach