Friday, April 25, 2008

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

For reasons unexplained, I did not watch Harold and Kumar in their quest to look for White Castle on the big screen, even though movies like these are right up my alley (I need to de-stress from time to time, with what a friend of mine would describe movies like these as "cock shows"). However, I did catch the best bits (heh) of the original movie when I was waiting for things to happen on a film set, though technically I have still yet to watch it from start to end. With the sequel now being screened, I am so there already.

Beginning directly where the first movie had left off, Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Karl Penn) are now en route to Amsterdam, weed capital of the world, where they can indulge in their favourite drug and be high all the time. Secondary objective is of course Harold's quest to look for Maria (Paula Garces), and on the way they bump into Vanessa (Danneel Harris), Kumar's ex-girlfriend who introduced him to the world of marijuana. But with the idiotic duo, what you see in the trailer had to happen, and being accused as agents of North Korea and Al-Qaeda, they get sent to Guantanamo Bay where they soon bust out of.

Like the first movie, we follow these two jokers from incident to incident, each playing like a stand alone comedy skit, as they try to evade capture from the Department of Homeland Security, and now with their new quest of looking up Vanessa, so that they can get her influential fiance to get them off the hook, coupled with Kumar's own vendetta of disrupting the upcoming wedding proceedings. I was somewhat surprised that this movie had some semblance of a flimsy plot to follow, such that it's not mindless random episodes all the way (such as throwing in the KKK out of nowhere).

The jokes come from you at all angles - verbal, slapstick, and sometimes just plain irreverent. And for those who are anal retentive, you'd probably foam at the source material for most of the jokes, ranging from the homophobic to the racist, executed so sublimely, you'd probably feel guilty for laughing out loud at the funny bits. And what's a movie like this without the usual gratuitous shots of body parts, female and male, with genitalia on display without a tinge of embarassment. What more, the camera lingers, especially when filmmakers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg wanted to probably perpetuate their version of a happening bottomless party in your face. Yep, topless is overrated.

But I guess what made this movie click, was that it doesn't hold back, and dared to slow things down by dipping into melodrama-romatic moments which will raise your goosebumps. Friendship between the two idiots get tested, broken (momentararily) and healed faster than you can smoke a joint, and Love, well, let's see if the square root of three will make you go "awww" (some members of the audience actually did!)

All in all, Harold and Kumar rocks (Can't believe I'm actually saying that), and I guess it's time to hunt down a copy of the White Castle DVD to indulge unabashedly at their original escapade.

** P.S. Actually had a lot of complaints, but I will just summarize it as stating for a fact that the print at Grand Cathay was shite - a lot of noise, and a green line perpetually imprinted permanently on the screen. Also, the sound seemed only to come from the speakers in front, and the projectionist decided to give the middle finger fuck-you to 50% of the audience who stayed behind to see what happened to Neil Patrick Harris, by switching off the projector before the coda was played.

We Ain't Terrorizers, We're Idiots!

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