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Harold and Kumar 2: Escape from Guantanamo Bay

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
April 25th, 2008

I imagine the two biggest influences for Harold and Kumar 2: Escape from Guantanamo Bay would be getting high, obviously, and Comedy Central, mainly the TV programs Chapelle’'s Show and The Daily Show. After several bong hits and hours of watching these politically and culturally relevant shows the stupid and usually boring Harold Kumar 2 might have seemed like a good idea to screenwriters and first time directors, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. However, in clear light this project’s flaws are glaring. A political stoner film? Who better to preach about such delicate and important issues as politics and race than people who specialize in fart jokes and gross out humor.

It’'s not just the film satirical jokes about our government that are lazy and unimaginative; even the film’'s more low-brow jokes seem half-baked, which is unfortunate because they are a lot of them. The first poop joke is about one minute into the film, and involves Kumar taking a number 2, while Harold showers. That’s the entire joke, one friend going to the bathroom as his friend takes a shower. We have our first dick joke before the boys finish packing for their trip to Amsterdam, this joke is even more disgusting than the opening shower scene, and about as funny.

As you can imagine the pot-loving duo, played again by John Cho and Kal Penn, is very excited for their trip to the very marijuana-friendly Amsterdam. However, due to a misunderstanding on the airplane the boys do not make it to their destination. Instead, they are interrogated by the dim-witted government official, Ron Fox (Rob Cordy). Eventually, the boys are sent to Guantanamo Bay for being terrorists, which they soon escape. The trip to Guantanamo Bay provides one of the film’s funnier lines, "donuts are fucking awesome”", delivered by Kumar to terrorists in another cell, and of course another dick joke, involving the boys having to give the guards blowjobs. The rest of the film chronicles the adventures of Harold and Kumar as they try to avoid being captured by the government and Ron Fox.

The filmmakers use the ignorant Ron Fox to make many stereotypical and offensive “jokes”. During the film'’s running time, Ron Fox pours out grape soda to try and force an African-American man to reveal the location of Harold and Kumar, while a watcher in the background yells about Kool Aid. Ron also scatters loose change over a table while interrogating Harold and Kumar’'s Jewish friends. When Ron leaves the room the two men are quick to collect the change. The filmmakers want you to think they are satirizing the government and various stereotypes with Ron Fox, but really they are just using him for some cheap and not very funny laughs, and to an extent, further promote these negative stereotypes. Also, Ron wipes his ass with the bill of rights to make a point about the government not concerning itself with its own laws. Hilarious, right? No. For their next film the writers should try using more words and wit, instead of poop stains.

Before Harold and Kumar 2 is over the boys smoke weed with President Bush, get their desired girls, and eventually make it to Amsterdam. They also meet a married Alabama couple, who happen to be brother and sister, and keep their inbred and deformed son in the basement. The boys’ run-in with the Alabama couple once again shows the filmmakers are not too concerned with actually being clever just with seeing how many insensitive jokes they can fit into the film’. Neil Patrick Harris also makes an appearance in the film, again playing an alternate version of himself as he did in the first film. The scenes with Neil are marginally funny, as Mr. Harris is more than willing to sacrifice his name for comedy.

Harold and Kumar 2 does have the occasional comical line, but suffers from too many misfires and offenses to work either as a satire or stoner comedy, and definitely not both. However, if the filmmakers’ goal was to make a hollow and incredibly crass film that will probably turn a large profit, then I think Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg will be patting each other on the back when weekend box office reports are known Sunday.

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