Monday, November 7, 2011

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas - Movie Review

Here's another movie I really wasn't planning on seeing, but there weren't a lot of new movies this weekend.  I don't have anything against the Harold & Kumar series though.  I don't think they are good movies, but I like raunchy comedies and these don't pretend to be anything other than that. I would normally call this a guilty pleasure.  Plus, these movies are critic proof anyway; they have their fans and they're going to see it regardless of what any critic has to say about it.

Anyway, after yet another 49ers victory, I found myself with nothing to do, so I figured I'd check it out.

First off, I'll give the movie credit for actually using the word "Christmas" in the title.  I'm tired of all of this "Happy Holidays" bullshit.  It's a Christmas movie.  Maybe that's politically incorrect these days, but then again this isn't a politically correct movie series.  I don't think people see a Harold & Kumar movie to get that kind of message out of it.

There's really isn't much of a need to talk about the story, as these movies never really have much of one.  You know the formula: it starts with a simple premise or goal and then a series of wacky events take these guys all over the place and they get in all kinds of trouble.

The basic premise this time is that Harold (John Cho) is now married, has a good job and has basically become an adult.  Kumar (Kal Penn) has pretty much let himself go and lives in a state of arrested development.  He got kicked out of school, his girlfriend dumped him and all he seems to care about is getting high.  Harold and Kumar have drifted apart and it doesn't appear that they've hung out for years.

Meanwhile, Harold is still trying to impress his wife's father, played by Danny Trejo.  Trejo takes Christmas very seriously, so when his prized Christmas tree is ruined by Kumar, Harold and Kumar frantically try to replace the tree before Trejo notices.  Hilarity and hi-jinx ensue.

Maybe I needed to be drunk for this, but I didn't think the latest Harold & Kumar offering was all that funny.  It has it's moments, but it seemed like it wouldn't have been funny even if I was high or drunk.  A lot of the humor, even the politically incorrect stuff, seemed easy.  It didn't feel like they were trying very hard.

I don't think it was just me either, as I saw this movie with a fairly young crowd, and I think I can count on a hand the number of times I heard a good laugh out of anyone in the theater.

The best part of the movie is Neil Patrick Harris and he's really only in one sequence of the film.  This needed more NPH.

It might be that the writers of this series, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, have run out of ideas.  They are also writing and directing the upcoming American Reunion movie, which doesn't look all that great from the trailer I've seen so far.  I think these guys might have hit their expiration date.

This was directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, who doesn't seem to have anything noteworthy to his name as far as directing goes.  I have to wonder if this would have been better if they had been able to bring back the director of Harold & Kumar Go o White Castle, Danny Leiner.  A better director, or one with more experience directing comedies, really would have helped this.

I did see this in 3D, as I didn't have a choice to see it in 2D, and it's nothing special.  They take a poke at the whole 3D thing and I think they at least tried to have a little fun with it, but it was all very gimmicky.  It started to get annoying about halfway through.

I don't think this is a bad movie for what it is, it's just not as funny as I was hoping for.  If you're an existing fan of the Harold & Kumar series, or just looking for a silly, raunchy comedy, then you'll probably get some laughs out of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.  You might find it funnier than I did.  However, I wouldn't recommend paying the money to see this in 3D, nor would I recommend seeing this in the theaters.  This seems like a better movie to rent and watch with a couple of friends (likely with some alcohol or some other 'party aids').  If this type of movie isn't normally your thing, there's nothing about it that's going to make you a fan.

Speaking of silly comedies, I will not be seeing Jack and Jill next weekend unless someone pays me to see it.  In fact, without even seeing it, here's my review:  It sucks!  Adam Sandler has completely gone off the deep end with this one and he clearly hates the very audience and fans that made him a millionaire.  It's especially puzzling that he made Jack and Jill when this was exactly the type of movie they poked fun at with his role in Funny People.  I just don't get it.  I really hope people don't go out and see this movie.  You're just encouraging him to make more of them.  I'd rather you see Tower Heist or Harold & Kumar if you're going to go to the theaters to see a comedy this weekend.

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