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Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay Review

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay: They Should Have Just Gone to Amsterdam

The great thing about Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle is that there were no expectations. The news of its secret hilarity spread quietly through whispers and surprised admissions — You know what I saw last night OnDemand that was oddly incredible? It was a time when a Neil Patrick Harris cameo was delightfully random since no one had seen much of him since Doogie Howser and the simple fact of two guys on a quest for greasy sliders was plot enough. Unfortunately, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay doesn't have that luxury. The expectations are high (ha, get it?), and sadly, the movie doesn't live up them. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

The thing is, I'm not the only one getting older. Escape From Guantanamo Bay takes place just hours after their trip to White Castle, but somehow the fact that Kal Penn and John Cho are now both in their 30s and look it adds a kind of sad angle to the whole thing that didn't exist when they were fresh-faced 20 somethings who just loved smoking pot. Elsewhere in their acting careers, they're both heart-throbby and respectable in their own rights, but somehow they seem to be too old to still be playing this game. That's a bit nitpicky, though, and really the least of the movie's problems. To see the rest of my thoughts just

.

For me, the moment the movie went awry was when they ended up at Guantanamo Bay instead of making it to Amsterdam and getting into a whole heap of trouble there. While I appreciate the notion of a noble quest, it's far too convoluted this time, and Amsterdam is just an afterthought. Speaking of bringing Gitmo into it, it's a perfect example of where this movie fails. Time and time again they go for the most offensive lines — racial, religious, sexual, bathroom-related (lots of that) — for cheap laughs rather than a) actually making relevant political satire and comedy or b) making any jokes that haven't been done a million times before.

That isn't to say there aren't good moments. Neil Patrick Harris once again knocks it out of the park, even though at this point we know that real-life NPH isn't going for the biggest boobs at the whorehouse (not even joking: that's in the movie). Plus, at the heart of the movie there's a sentimental angle — a love story, a mushy poem, perhaps a sign that Harold and Kumar are growing up after all. Maybe this is one of those movies that will get better with viewing No. 2, and I'm sure there are plenty of inebriated people of all ages who will think it's a riot. Seriously, the frat boy sitting next to me was rolling in the aisles. In the meantime though, here's to hoping Harold and Kumar think long and hard about their plan before taking another trip.

To see the trailer and video clips from Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, check out movies.ivillage.com.

Photos courtesy of New Line Cinema


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mlmoreno47 mlmoreno47 7 years
I love in the first one when they're like, should we go back for the phone? Nah F it, too far. I died. Why didn't they Make NPH gay if he is playing himself???
caligirl101 caligirl101 7 years
I loved the 1st one and can't wait to see this one.
burntpineapple burntpineapple 7 years
ehh i've always thought the first one was like "stoner humor" kinda like you had to be a stoner to get the jokes, ya know? :/ i mean when else would you ever ride a tiger through the woods?..
JLew1982 JLew1982 7 years
I've been looking forward to it and can't wait to see it anyway! Love those guys.
Superbig Superbig 7 years
I just watched the movie; and I thought it was hilarious. Molly, I think you're being way too hypercritical. Most comedies have guys who are in their 20's play high school kids. So having someone in their 30's play a recent college grad is not much of a stretch. You just have to chill out and enjoy the movie for what it is. I thought some of the scenes were pretty funny. Also, you gotta wait to watch an extra scene with Doogie after ALL of the credits roll.
hotstuff hotstuff 7 years
I think the bottom line with this movie is that it's not meant to be serious AT ALL and everything they get into is to be totally unbelievable and ridiculous! A lot of it was gross, crass, racist, and rude but I would be a liar if I didn't say there was still some really funny parts. I mean I was crying from laughing so hard at a couple parts. It's all about just letting go and not taking it seriously. There is a lot of nudity and dirty jokes. A LOT of racial stereotypes is used but almost in a twisted way to show how ridiculous they are. I personally think Niel Patrick Harris is one of the worst most boring parts of the movie...but I thought that in the first one also.
javsmav javsmav 7 years
Maybe I'll sneak a flask into the theater. I'm excited to see it, but I do have low expectations. Sequels are never as good as the original.
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 7 years
That makes me sad, I was so hoping this would be good and funny.
fireyelectra fireyelectra 7 years
That still of NPH on the unicorn is priceless. NPH would never do that.
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