Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

It’s nice to see that stoner movies have made a comeback. If you watch a Cheech & Chong movie with people who didn’t grow up in the 70’s, it’s impossible to explain why they were allowed to make so many damn movies. The answer is simple: marijuana.

I didn’t even know what marijuana was the first time I saw Cheech & Chong, which was on HBO when I was 8 or something. But they were still funny. And the same thing goes for the new doobie duo, Harold & Kumar. Their first movie, about a munchies-fueled trip to White Castle that turns into a harrowing adventure, was a surprise hit on DVD. It’s completely idiotic, but I suggest you rent it. Harold & Kumar aren’t just stoner types. Like their forebears, they are likeable and recognizable characters that play off racial stereotypes, but are unique and real people.

That’s what makes the comedy work; that and a crazed sense of the absurd where Doogie Howser can show up anywhere, and you can ride a cheetah in the Pine Barrens. The movie begins right where the first one left off- they’ve had their sack of sliders, dealt with their parents, and now it’s another day. They want to go to Amsterdam to chase the love of Harold’s life, the girl he sees in the elevator.

Before they get on the plane, they meet Kumar’s ex-girlfriend, who’s engaged to an uptight politician-in-training, and the stoner feels a twinge of regret at their break-up. All’s forgotten as they get on the plane. Through a bizarre set of circumstances Kumar gets mistaken for a terrorist, in one of the funniest sequences of the movie, and they are shipped off to Guantanamo to be served cockmeat sandwiches.

From there they stumble from one adventure to the next, like the first film. A bottomless party in Miami gives us a solid 5 minutes of Brazilian-cut bush, which a great bonus now that the Gratuitous Boob has become an endangered species, replaced by Judd Apatow’s desire to put a Superfluous Schlong in all his comedies. I don’t begrudge the ladies their unwarranted wangs, but there’s been a Boobie Drought since the 80’s that needs quenching. H&K give us a plethora of punani in this film to make up for it.

They stumble through backwoods trailers and KKK rallies, and of course run into their hero Neil Patrick Harris again, who is funnier than ever. The weakest point is when they meet Dubya, who is played by a bad impersonator. It’s still funny and eventually you don’t care how bad his make-up is.

The movie follows the same formula as the first, giving us bizarre comedy followed by a sentimental ending that is true to the characters. If you like the first film, you won’t be disappointed here. It doesn’t top it, but it’s enjoyable in the same manner as its predecessor. It’s probably a lot funnier … on weed but it’s still great sober, or after a Sam Adams Summer Ale or two.

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