Susan Granger’s review of “Harold & Kumar’s 3D Christmas” (Warner Bros./New Line)
Now pushing 30, Harold (John Cho) works on Wall Street and lives in suburban New Jersey with a beautiful wife Maria (Paula Garces), while Kumar (Kal Penn) is still a lounge lizard, living in the same old Brooklyn apartment, having been kicked out of medical school and dumped by his longtime girlfriend Vanessa (Danneel Harris). Estranged, they have made new friends since they first emerged in “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” (2004) and “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay” (2008).
But then Kumar receives a mysterious package addressed to Harold and delivers it to his old pal on December 24. Problem is: while lighting a doobie, Kumar accidentally ignites Harold’s Christmas tree, a cherished gift from Maria’s Korean-loathing father (Danny Trejo). So the two of them set off on a quest to replace it before Maria and her visiting family return from midnight mass.
Along the way, they must cope with a vicious Ukrainian mobster (Elias Koteas), intimidating black tree-sellers (rapper RZA, Da’Vone McDonald) and a baby covered with cocaine. Mocking the 3D technology, lots of eggs, exploding confetti and pot smoke are hurled at the audience.
Stuffed with politically incorrect humor by screenwriters Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, this interracial buddy/stoner romp is directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson. Not surprisingly, Neil Patrick Harris does a cameo, playing himself in a TV Christmas Special.
FYI: Kal Penn is the stage name of Kalpen Modi whose resume includes a stint in the Obama administration, working as associate director in the Office of Public Engagement. He says he was drawn to public service having listened to his grandparents talking about marching with Gandhi. So he put his acting career on hold to serve in the White House, and he plans to work on Obama’s re-election campaign. In addition, he is now developing a behind-the-scenes comedy about various people who are employed at the United Nations.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Harold & Kumar’s 3D Christmas” is a festive, flaky 5. Joints to the world!