Let’s get the dying question out of the way, first. No, the sequel to Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle is not as funny as the original. Is it funny? Yes, it definitely is, but not nearly as funny as the first film.
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, while it has moments of hilarity, is more or less a rehash of the first movie, almost exactly. In this movie, they escape from Guantanamo Bay, in the first, they escape a jail cell in po-dunk nowhere. In this movie, they meet a redneck with a hot wife, which they also did in the first movie. In this movie they trek across the country, to get where they want to go, in the first movie they trek across New Jersey to get to White Castle. In this movie, they steal Neil Patrick Harris’ car, in the first he stole theirs. The similarities go on and on. It felt very much like one of Kal Penn’s other comedies The Rise of Taj, which was a sequel to Van Wilder. It’s like they made the exact movie all over again, but substituted some new people.
The highlight, for me, was NPH (Neil Patrick Harris). As he did in the last film, he stole the show. The (few) scenes with him were full of laughs throughout. It was disappointing that he wasn’t in more of the movie, but hey, take what you can get.
If you’re the typical guy (as I am), and are looking for that “wow, boobs” factor that’s there in the first film, it’s missing from this one. While there’s some topless “whores”, there’s certainly no abundance of (topless) nudity, even in the unrated edition of the DVD. There is, however, a scene where a friend of Harold and Kumar’s is trying to bring a new fad of “bottomless” to the table, in Miami. He claims that he never “got the whole topless thing”, and has started his own bottomless trend, complete with dozens of gorgeous no-name actresses at his party walking around bare-ass naked. (Not to be watched with wife, girlfriend, mom, or children. Be warned.)
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with the film. While the first movie flopped at the box office, it did rather well on DVD, becoming somewhat of a cult favorite. I don’t think the sequel has the same staying power, and most die hard fans will be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, there’s quite a few scenes that made me laugh out loud. Most of them had NPH in them, and I was laughing at him.
This movie shouldn’t be seen by children. The profanity level is off the scale. If I had counted the use of the F word, I’m sure it would have topped 200, easily. Particularly the scene where they actually escape Guantanamo Bay, they run through the woods repeating the F word over and over again, to each other and themselves. While it’s definitely funny, it’s not something you’d want your 12 year old watching, and repeating.
If you’re in the mood to laugh at Kal Penn, and John Cho, do yourself a favor, and get the original Harold and Kumar movie. This sequel’s a dud.
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