Hiding under the guise of a ‘stoner’ comedy, HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE/’04 was a subversive comic IED for the George Bush Era. But the follow-up, H&K ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY/’08, was too coarse & obvious to do similar damage, the gags all had tags on them. Now the writing team of Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg has wisely stepped back after directing #2, and this new 3D edition is a treat. Maybe even funnier in 2D with the cheesy stereoscopic effects flattened out. This time out, the pals have lost touch, but get together to resurrect their friendship & a torched Christmas tree. The Era of Obama has scotched the old subversive tone, and now the sex, drugs & Rockettes, plus a few scatological jokes, are mere dissemblage from the old homey holiday homilies; the secular trinity of friends, family & fireside. There’s even a new generation promised for the sequel. But if the ideas stay as fresh & funny as this film’s drug-induced claymation scenes or its Neil Patrick Harris Christmas Spectacular, a few corruptible young’uns might just be a blessing in disguise. And maybe we’ll find out if Kumar is also circumcised.
DOUBLE-BILL: Watch H&K GO TO WHITE CASTLE first. GUANTANAMO is strictly for completists.