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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
John Cho
Kal Penn
Neil Patrick Harris
Danny Trejo
Elias Koteas
Tom Lennon
Amir Blumenfeld
Paula Garcés
Patton Oswalt.
Directors
Todd Strauss-Schulson.
Screenwriters
Jon Hurwitz
Hayden Schlossberg.
Running Time
89 minutes

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A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Winter blunderland


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Plot
It's been six long years since stoner pals Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Penn) got into trouble at Guantanamo Bay. These days, a successful Harold has mostly lost contact with slacker Kumar. It would take a miracle to bring them back together. Thank goodness, then, that it's Christmas in New York...


Review
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
A mysterious spliff gift. A ruined Christmas tree. A mad dash across New York to find a replacement. A drug-slinging mall Santa. The real Father Crimbo blasted from the sky by a random shotgun discharge. Make no mistake: this is the Harold & Kumar take on Christmas, loaded down with the usual chaos, swearing, boobs and everything else you’ve come to expect from the pair.

But while the story remains resolutely ridiculous, it’s also funny — and in 3D this time. The numerous digs at the format feel like genuine complaints we’ve all had, and the movie itself (shot in proper, not post-converted 3D) uses the technology to both comic and actual effect. Sure, there are lots of scenes where everything from snowballs to magic dust flies at the screen, or Neil Patrick Harris pokes us with his candy cane (steady), but it all seems apt for what is an attempt at a Proper Christmas Movie.

Yes, it’s even got some heart beating underneath all the Santa-shooting, crazed waffle-making robots, penis-frozen-to-pole and stoner humour. A claymation segment works well, and there’s also a pleasantly smart side to all the stupid giggles as both Harold and Kumar react realistically to most of the situations they’re presented with. Plus, every festive flick needs a little reconciliation, and veteran writers Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz understand that we need to care about these guys in order to enjoy everything else.

And though the requisite Harris appearance slips into slightly less charmingly comic territory than usual when he puts the sinister moves on a chorus girl, that’s easily balanced by a trip to heaven and the now-trademark jabs at his career and personal life. Oh, and he’s addicted to crack cocaine now, for those keeping score of his scores. But while he pops in for the standard cameo, there’s also some fine support for the leads, with Tom Lennon as Harold’s replacement Kumar and newcomer Amir Blumenfeld filling in as the Harold substitute. Dragged into the boys’ mad misadventures, Lennon in particular works well as the nerdy Todd, endlessly outraged at how many narcotics his little daughter is exposed to. Your enjoyment of that particular wrinkle will likely depend on your tolerance for baby-on-drugs gags, though.


Verdict
This never reaches the heights of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer or The Snowman in terms of classic seasonal fare. But there are a lot of laughs lurking within the shiny 3D wrapping and snow-covered silliness.


Reviewed by James White

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Empire Star Rating

I went in having not seen the first two movies, meaning I didn't really know what sense of humour they had (but I guessed it was on the rude side based on the 18 certificate). And of course, I was right. Silly gags and a funny cast made it good fun, and overall I enjoyed myself. NPH was the highlight, with Danny Trejo coming in close second as the Mexican, christmas-loving father-in-law. I think I'll seek the first two out now, as I get the idea they're better. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Whistler at 22:00, 13 December 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Round Three and the Duo are Half-Baked.

As much as I liked the previous 2 films, I wont be seeing this due to the fact obviously it's in 3D why nobody probably includes the cast knows? ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 10:08, 12 December 2011 | Report This Post


Round Three and the Duo are Half-Baked.

So much has changed since Harold and Kumar escaped from Guantanamo Bay. Harold (John Cho) landed the role of Sulu in J. J. Abrams’ acclaimed Star Trek reboot (a character he will revisit in 2013). Kumar (Kal Penn), having smoked weed with George W. Bush in Escape From Guantanamo Bay, became an Associate Director for the Obama administration. And Neil Patrick Harris, whilst furthering his womanising image as the philandering Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, publicly cam... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Artificial Luddite at 17:08, 11 December 2011 | Report This Post


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