Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg

Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
John Cho and Kal Pen’s loveable stoner duo were poised to build an absurd franchise to rival the fallen comedic pothead legacy of Cheech and Chong, and then someone got high and gave Whitecastle writers Hurwitz and Schlossberg the director’s chair.

I don’t know who else to blame. The actors professionally, and bravely, delve into whatever excremental ideas are asked of them, and the film looks fine for a mid-budget, lowbrow comedy, but it seems nobody had the balls to tell the first-time directors when their ideas had gone from absurdly funny to shockingly stupid.

Resultantly, Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay is a mixed bag of mostly bland and rancid nuts. Opening with a shot of Harold and Kumar’s bathroom floor just hours after the previous film’s climactic White Castle feast, at least the movie is honest from the outset about the level its flimsy story is aimed at.

The epic journey this time around is a trip to Amsterdam, for the legal weed of course, but mostly so Harold can make sure his Maria isn’t the centrepiece of some European beefcake orgy. Surprisingly, the duo make it into the air before Kumar’s marijuana lust fuels an embarrassingly pathetic string of over-the-top racial stereotypes and he and Harold are mistaken for terrorists and whisked off to Guantanamo Bay.

There’s no purpose or even partially satisfying explanation of why or how anything in Harold and Kumar’s world happens, but there doesn’t need to be, as long as the situations and banter are ridiculous enough. In Guantanamo Bay, they aren’t, and it isn’t. Eschewing the wit and charm of Whitecastle, Hurwitz and Schlossberg settle for cheap gross-out humour and "gee, ignorance sure is funny” jokes. The viewer is left with a bevy of naked crotches, shit sounds, dick gags, fake sperm, a contrived rom-com sub plot and the glory that is Neil Patrick Harris stoned out of his mind riding a Technicolor unicorn.

Harold and Kumar spend so much time bickering and so little time being funny that NPH steals the show even more so than last time. With the zeal he invests into his drug-addled, womanising alter ego, his under-use is almost an insult. His scenes alone make the whole crap-tastic experience almost worthwhile. You can believe in NPH, but don’t believe in the cinematic flatulence Harold and Kumar are wafting in your direction. (Alliance)