A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR CHRISTMAS (strong R for anything & everything tossed in to shock): So here we go again. If you're titillated by a stale idea that's made money twice before with slight variations, and if you're amused by vomiting, poop, nudity, exorbitant drug use (especially with kids), drunkenness, racist digs, not very funny gay jokes, gross slapstick & religious satire (in exceptionally bad taste), then this is the movie for you. Oh, and if you take glee in a script that calls for the F-word and Sh-word to be used needlessly & constantly (especially among kids & often half a dozen times within a sentence), along with 8 or 9 newly minted profane scorchers - all the more reason to see this been-there-done-that flick.
It's been since 2004 when Harold (John Cho) & Kumar (Kal Penn) got hooked into a series of misadventures as they traveled through New Jersey in search of a White Castle hamburger and not long after when they wound up in a series of misadventures in Guantanamo.
This time, some years later, we find the pals have taken different routes in life. Harold is weedless, has a job on Wall Street, is married, now living in a large white suburban home and trying without luck to sire a child. Kumar still living in their old wreck of an apartment, is perpetually stoned, unambitious, in an on-again, off-again relationship with a girl he's just made pregnant. Through a postal error they are reunited on Christmas eve and off to yet another series of misadventures, this time in search for a tree to replace the one in Harold's home (which had been burned to the floor). After car wrecks, one obscene situation after another, a whole lot of chasing & being chased, they get the tree they wanted.
Though director Todd Strauss-Schulson does his best to make all this appealing & funny, the script by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg, who also wrote the first two flicks, seems out of steam. To make up for lack of ingenuity, they have peppered their script with anything to be offensive to everyone at least once during its 90-minutes of egregious poor taste. The occasionally clever material (like a claymation dream & a dance chorus line with Neil Patrick Harris, neither of which has anything to do with the plot) is hardly enough to make up for the drift into tedious epater les bourgeois material that after repeated schlock hardly epaters at all.
One wonders why the Christmas theme comes so early in the season - perhaps to avoid a general negative feedback? It's 90-minutes too long despite its attempt at rigging for laughs by plunging as low as a comedy can get. (Grade: D+)