Review: Harold and Kumar – Escape from Guantanamo Bay

April 28, 2008 at 1:03 pm 1 comment

Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay is probably one of the best titles for a movie I’ve ever heard. I think everyone was expecting the sequel to 2004’s Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle to be called Harold & Kumar Go To Amsterdam, but I much prefer this new title. As the name suggests, our two favorite Asians end up in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after being mistaken for terrorists on a plane bound of Amsterdam. The rest of the film follows the typical buddy-road-movie comedy formula, similar to the first movie.

There really isn’t that much difference between this and its predecessor, but the filmmakers do take the racism jokes a step further, sometimes with hilarious effect. The movie starts literally right after the first one ends, with Harold daydreaming about his crush Maria (Paula Garces). He and Kumar then start packing for their flight to Amsterdam, where Harold hopes to meet Maria. On the plane, Kumar brings a homemade bong onboard, which is mistaken for a bomb, then the two are tackled by a couple of meathead-type Federal Air Marshals, followed by an interrogation by Ron Fox (Rob Corddry), an agent for the Department of Homeland Security, then a brief stint at Guantanamo Bay.

The Guantanamo Bay sequence is actually pretty short, and a little disgusting. The pair do meet a couple of actual terrorists, who are pretty much the angry Middle Eastern stereotypes that the average American thinks of when someone says the word ‘terrorist’. What follows after the escape is basically sequence after sequence that plays on most stereotypes.

The scenes in Alabama are actually pretty funny. Harold and Kumar meet a backwards redneck, who offers to let them stay the night in his trailer. Upon entering the trailer (which is much nicer on the inside than the outside), they meet the farmer’s beautiful wife, and have a run-in with their son. Meanwhile, Fox is on their trail, interviewing members of a predominantly black neighborhood who saw Harold and Kumar as they fled into the woods. While not giving too much away, the scene with Fox talking to the witnesses was one of the funniest scenes in the whole movie.

The pair then continue to move westward as they try to get to one of their friends who has some pull with the government, in hopes of clearing their names. And, yes, they run into Neil Patrick Harris, who takes them to a whore house. The scenes with NPH is short, and only mildly funny. Then there’s the scene with George W. Bush (James Adomian). Surprisingly, W has some wise things to say about government and taking charge of your own life. After being wrongfully thrown into a military prison for POW’s and suspected terrorists, Harold and Kumar aren’t really too keen on the American government. Kumar tells W that he doesn’t know if he can trust it anymore. W, however, tells him that basically you don’t need to trust the government, just have trust in your country. Not to make things political or anything, but, that kind of makes a lot of sense. We can be angry at our government, but the way the USA is set up, we can trust in ourselves to fix things (which is one of the reasons we have elections in the first place). Wise words, indeed.

Overall, fans of the first won’t be dissapointed with this one. While some have said the first was better, I honestly say they’re both equally as entertaining. I think that some of the race jokes are funnier here, but the first had more ‘unique’ moments that didn’t have to rely on the same schtick (racism). Running at about 1 hour and 45 minutes, I think it’s about 10 minutes too long, but it’s not like Knocked Up which ran about 20 minutes too long.


(images from Yahoo!)


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1.  |  April 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Our team will go see it soon!!
    We are fan!


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