Running Time: 100 mins
Rated: Rated MA 15+ (frequent coarse language, strong sexual references and nudity, strong drug use, crude humour and strong violence)
Well, this one is only for devotees of this kind of broad, and frequently pothead, American comedy, plenty of crass jokes, especially bodily functions in the first few minutes so that audiences will know whether they want to stay or not. Devotees who enjoyed the first Harold and Kumar outing will obviously want to see the film, no matter what.
Should one persevere, the result is a sometimes very funny (sometimes not but the makers don't worry as they hurry on to the next episode and know that humour is hit and miss) spoof of bigoted American attitudes as well as the fear of terrorists. Harold is a Korean American, Kumar Indian. The number of jokes that would be considered in execrable bad taste in an 'ordinary' film are so blatant that they are funny. A scene where the US intelligence agencies interview the parents of both Harold and Kumar, employing a translator who speaks laborious Korean and cannot understand their English makes the point. Kumar is also prone to draw on his complexion as an occasion for attacks on presumptions that he is from the middle east and a terrorist.
Harold is intelligent and tries to do the right thing (though he is almost as much as stoner as Kumar). In flashbacks we see that Kumar had his good moments but how he got to the obtuse personality we see in the film defies credibility. Off they go to Amsterdam but, through Kumar's gadgets for smoking on board and paranoid passengers seeing terrorists everywhere, they are sentenced to Guantanomo Bay. They don't stay long, able to escape by sheer chance, get back to Florida and begin a trek cross country to be at Kumar's former girlfriend's wedding.
In fact, given the range of people they meet, including some Alabama backwoods types and Neal Patrick Harris who takes them to a western brothel, this is a variation on Borat's trip across American, plenty of spoof targets.
Rob Gorddry (in some of the Judd Apatow films and What Happens in Vegas) plays to the hilt the most narrow, bigoted, indiscreet and lamebrained intelligence office that ever lived.
One of the final targets is George Bush himself who is shown to be just another Kumar at heart!
Village RoadshowOut 4 September
Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.