Like Friday After Next, the third Harold & Kumar installment is a Christmas movie. And just like Friday After Next, Todd Strauss-Schhulson’s A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is a decidely mixed holiday bag.
Since 2008’s Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, the BFFs went their own way. While Harold is married now to Maria and living in the suburbs. Kumar’s life has gone to pot. In the opening scene he cops from a dealer played by Patton Oswalt. Kumar puffs out of a red plastic bong in his wreck of an apartment. To top things off, Vanessa (Danneel Harris) tells Kumar that she’s pregnant (with his baby).
A package arrives addressed to Harold, so Kumar recruits Adrian (College Humor’s Amir Blumenfeld) to drive him to Harold’s house. Inside the box is a huge joint, which Kumar immediately lights up. But Harold is straight now and throws it out the window, causing a fire that burns up his Christmas tree. The object of the rest of the movie is to replace the tree - a quest of sorts like in 2004’s Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.
It’s Christmas Eve and a good tree is hard to find. Kumar and Adrian and Harold and Todd (Reno: 911’s Thomas Lennon) decide to steal a tree at a party. This follows a car accident and a very funny scene where Kumar hotboxes Todd’s van (above) while Todd’s daughter is in the back seat. Baby Ava has some of the stoniest moments in the film.
Ukrainian mobsters break up the party, shooting a flying bag of coke that explodes gloriously around the room, thanks to the 3D effects. Covered in white powder, Todd delivers one of the movies best lines: “My baby is fucked on cocaine!”
There are actually more coke jokes in 3D Christmas than ganja gags. Neil Patrick Harris (“NPH”), playing himself again, does a song and dance routine, then retires to his dressing room to smoke crack.
Harold admits to Kumar that he only stopped smoking marijuana to enhance his fertility. “That’s why I quit,” he confesses. “Tell that to Snoop’s kids,” Kumar quips.
It turns out that the huge joint was a special gift from Santa Claus, who appears near the end. “It was my way of getting you back together,” he explains.
Santa has his own candy-cane colored bong. Harold & Kumar share a joint as “White Christmas” plays, a perfect resolution for the sentimental stoner.
Compared to Friday After Next, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, which opened Friday, has a much bigger budget and the 3D effects, which are a treat. But both Christmas movies offer slight storylines and rely on the success of their predecessors rather than deliver truly original script ideas. Kal Penn left his job at the White House to play Kumar a third time. You know the old adage about not giving up your day job. Penn did that. But it would appear the series has run its course, unless the fourth movie is titled, “Harold & Kumar Legalize Weed.”