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Vol. LXV, No. 44
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

HOW DID WE GET OURSELVES INTO THIS?: Our heroes Kumar Patel (John Cho, left) and Harold Lee (Kal Penn) have somehow been chosen to play two toy soldiers in a Christmas play and now they are trying to figure out how to get back to their search for the Christmas tree to replace the one they accidentally set on fire in Harold’s apartment.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas:Holiday Sequel Features Madcap Antics of Harold and Kumar

Kam Williams

Like Cheech and Chong’s string of comedies a generation ago, it looks like longevity might also be in store for Harold & Kumar’s series of misadventures. Co-stars John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles as the title characters here, with the movie marking the latter’s return to the big screen after serving in the Obama administration a couple of years ago.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, the third film in the series, unfolds six years after the conclusion of the pair’s previous outing, Escape from Guantanamo. At the point of departure, we learn that the pals have grown apart over the interim, presumably because Harold has married, settled in suburbia, and taken a job on Wall Street; while Kumar has continued to enjoy the life of a carefree bachelor after getting kicked out of medical school because he didn’t pass a drug test.

Obviously it is just a matter of time before the protagonists are reunited. That moment arrives when Kumar decides to deliver a package addressed to his ex-roommate which came to their old apartment. Although the reformed Harold says he’s “kinda glad all the craziness is behind me,” his new persona is out the window once they discover a mammoth joint inside the parcel.

When they light it, our heroes accidentally set fire to the Christmas tree and so they go on a desperate quest to replace it before Harold’s wife (Paula Garces) and his in-laws return from church. This proves easier said than done, because it’s late on Christmas Eve.

In the ensuing scenes prepare yourself for a Christmas wreath festooned with cannabis instead of holly leaves, for jokes about “winter wonder weed” and “chanukah hash,” and to have big clouds of smoke blown in your face in 3D.

While the uninitiated might consider the incessant association of the holiday season with substance abuse blasphemous, fans of the series will undoubtedly get a kick out of the irreverence. Along for the ride is Neil Patrick Harris again playing himself, as well as a couple of new buddies in Adrian (Amir Blumenfeld) and Todd (Thomas Lennon).

As they crisscross New York City in search of another 12-foot tree, they encounter everything from fellow party animals, nude nuns, Ukrainian mobsters, and Santa Claus himself. The movie is a religiously incorrect roller coaster ride for the very-open minded, and is definitely not a traditional sentimental Christmas yarn.

Very Good (***). Rated R for drug use, crude humor, pervasive profanity, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, and violence. Running time: 90 minutes. Distributor: Warner Brothers.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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