It’s six years since they made their break from Guantanamo, and things have changed. Harold (Cho) has given up the weed and decided to pursue a career, suit, tie and all. Kumar has decided to… well he has pretty much decided to do nothing differently, and keeps smoking away the day, even as the big 3-0 approaches. Accordingly, the two have gone their separate ways. A stray package though arrives at Kumar’s doorstep prompting him to get in touch with his estranged former-partner in crime, and the reunion leads the two back down the predictably shambolic path they had been down so many times before.
A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas takes its own anarchic spin on the yuletide season – Santa gets shotgunned out of the sky, a hunt for a Christmas tree leads to a toddler getting repeatedly high and Neil Patrick Harris smuts things up as a sexually-predatory Neil Patrick Harris. The 3D presentation is used to dramatic effect to show a man getting pelted in the face with eggs, as well as to ensure a number of penises – animated and prosthetic (we hope) – protrude from the screen too.
It’s not as anti-Christmas a film as this sounds though, with Harold trying to find the perfect Christmas tree to appease his festively-fixated father-in-law-to-be Danny Trejo. He doesn’t so much learn the ‘value’ of Christmas, but he does come to a realisation that a life without weed-induced chaos is the life he wants, which suggests there might not be much of a future for these two stoners from here on in.
Penn and Cho though struggle to convince as the intellectually-slack dunderheads of old, one of the best gags referencing this and in particular Penn’s involvement with the White House in recent years as an on-again-off-again Public Engagement officer. Sometimes the puerile and the sincere sit together a little uneasily too, but this film was never intended to deliver any profound, Wonderful Life-lite Christmas message. What it does deliver is a little festive cheer and a just-about-adequate side portion of laughs too. It’s not a classic, not even by the Harold and Kumar’s stoner-standards, but it’s diverting enough for someone looking for a new Christmas movie. It’s not exactly this year’s Bad Santa though.
Good for: Cheech and Chong fans with a glass of eggnog in their hand.
Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, Danny Trejo | 18 | 89mins