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Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, A


Stars: Kal Penn, John Cho, Amir Blumenfeld, Tom Lennon, Danny Trejo, Elias Koteas, Neil Patrick Harris, Paula Garces, Danneel Harris, Eddie Kaye Thomas, David Krumholtz, Bobby Lee

Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson

The third outing for Cho and Penn as the eponymous dubious double act of Harold and Kumar is neatly summed up in the cynical spirit of the great Tom Lehrer’s in the lyrics of his classic Christmas Carol, as “giving us all a wonderful opportunity each year to reflect on what we all most sincerely and deeply believe in. I refer, of course, to money”. Here the Christmas spirit of the daft duo’s zany adventures includes a three-year-old little girl high on marijuana, cocaine and finally ecstasy when she faces off against vicious Russian mobster Koteas, insults to just about every religion and the shooting of Santa in the head and enough lewd, crude and rude exploits to make the ‘Superbad’ mob envious. I regret to say I laughed a lot.

There’s even a plot which works well enough as a catalyst for gross comedy. Cho is now married and respectable. He and Penn, who still subsists largely on grass, have grow apart. However, when Penn’s new joint sets fire to the Christmas tree given Cho by his scary Hispanic father-in-law Trejo and reduces it to ashes, the duo are forced desperately to forage for a replacement tree with increasingly coarse comic results. And, just for daft comic effect, a small waffle-making robot joins in to help them on their mission.

The 3D is excellent and used to effective eye-poking effect. That said, laughs should still come in 2D.

Good taste is totally absent. The film really earns its ‘18’ certificate and it’s definitely not one for your maiden aunt. But if the run-up to Christmas is leaving you jaundiced from the overwhelming onslaught of commerce-driven seasonal goodwill, then Harold and Kumar should prove a welcome corrective. Cho and Penn end up as chorus boys in a lavish musical number by Harris who entertainingly sends up campness with a will, the battle with a giant killer snowball is an amusing and well-made claymation sequence, while the really rude riff on the ‘stuck on the pole’ sequence from A Christmas Story should bring understanding tears to the eyes of all males.

And a moral, should you really need one? Stoners succeed.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Warner Bros.. Colour by FotoKem.
89 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 09 Dec 2011