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HAROLD AND KUMAR, 2008
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Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Movie Review
Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Starring John Cho and Kal Penn
Review by Eli Manning




SYNOPSIS:

Follows the cross-country adventures of the pot-smoking duo as they try to outrun authorities who suspect them of being terrorists when they try to sneak a bong on board their flight to Amsterdam.

REVIEW:

Harold and Kumar are back, this time they are in a little bit more trouble but are having a little less personal self-discovery. I'm glad they're back as I quite enjoyed the first movie, but sequels are always hard to do and this one seemed to have much less conflict and therefore less humour.

Conflict in comedy most of the time leads to the best comedy. You think with this title there would be tons of conflict happening, but these guys seem to take things as they come without any real personal discovery attached to it ala the first film.

This is this generation's Cheech and Chong (CLICK here and read Tommę's daughter Precious' always entertaining monthly column). While the 70's pot guys really just went through their lives oblivious of what's happening in the world, Harold and Kumar are very much aware. And that's what gives these movies that added punch as it's very much a comedic social commentary on the prejudice problems in North America and the world.

As George W. Bush says in the final act in this film (yes our current President):

"It's not about trusting your government. Hell I don't even trust the government and I'm in the government. It's about trusting your country"

And that's pretty much the theme of the almost very funny Harold and Kumar 2. Don't trust the government because they seem to be doing stupid things all the time. But trust your country because people (even George W.) aren't that bad and things will be okay. So you might as well trust.

In the first Harold and Kumar, there is a destiny to get to White Castle. And like many tales of getting to a destiny, it's not what the destiny itself that is the point, but what you learn on your way there. The second film is about a misunderstanding and Harold and Kumar trying to get out of their misunderstanding. During this time I guess they learn what love is, but that's the loose theme in this film.

Yes I know, this is a comedy that's solely to be watched for entertainment and to get some laughs for 100 minutes. But if you look back to the best comedies, it's the theme the characters go through that makes it an even funnier film. That's what the first one did and that's why it was so funny and why it lead to the sequel.

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The second one just doesn't have that extra layer to make it a recommendable film and pay $10-15 dollars to go see. This is a DVD watch on a idle weekend afternoon. So watch this film as their are some funny parts, but not funny enough to go to the movies and see.

All I can say is that this movie just needed more Neil Patrick Harris playing Neil Patrick Harris. His cameo was just as good as it was in the first film and perhaps a little bit better.

2 1/2 stars out of 4center>

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