MONKEY REVIEW: Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

August 9, 2008

As far as sequel ideas go, putting stoner comedy duo Harold and Kumar (John Cho and Kal Penn), who are Korean and Indian, respectively, in Guantanamo Bay after they are mistaken for terrorists on a flight to Amsterdam seemed like it could result in some comedy gold. It doesn’t, however, as its satirical jabs at culture and race in post-9/11 America are surprisingly, well, blunted, but it’s frequently very funny, and its main characters are amiable enough to pull audiences through what is a very spotty movie indeed. It gets a good deal of its requisite gross-out humor out of the way in its first few minutes, thankfully, and the rest of the movie is basically a series of misadventures, some funnier than others, as Harold and Kumar, post-escape, try to make it to Texas, where they hope a well-connected friend will help them clear their names. As with the first film, Neil Patrick Harris playing “Neil Patrick Harris,” a drug-addled, hard drinking version of himself is a comic highlight. I’m giving this three monkeys only because the overall mood of the movie is so good-natured and because it does contain some pretty funny moments, but if you were not a fan of the first movie, you will probably want to lower the rating down another monkey.

MONKEY RATING: THREE MONKEYS

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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