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Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

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Harold and Kumar 2: John Cho and Kal Penn Return (With Neil Patrick Harris)

Apr 29, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:very funny, all the characters return, some memorable moments, fans will love this

Cons:drug use, over-the-top at times, could be very offensive to some viewers

The Bottom Line: If you loved the first film, you will enjoy this one too, as it caters to everything fans of the franchise could want (and to nobody else).


After the success of 2004's Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, it was only a matter of time until a sequel made its way to theaters. Two main reasons spelled the reason for Part 2, and they were that a cult following had fallen in love with the comedy, and there wouldn't be a lot of costs associated with bringing back the entire cast and crew. For all intents and purposes this could be considered a low-budget film, with a cost of only $6 million to produce it, and it was a sure bet to make that back in ticket sales to fans of the first film. Harold and Kumar go to White Castle is just about exactly how it sounds, with two characters spending an entire film trying to make their way to a White Castle restaurant for some of the favorite burgers and fries. Comedy follows them around, and many laughs are had on the way to White Castle.

The second film picks up moments after the first one has ended, with Harold Lee (played by John Cho) deciding to head off to Amsterdam to chase after a girl he had developed a large crush on in the first film. The sequel starts as if no time has passed, and Harold with his pal Kumar Patel (played by Kal Penn) are off on a flight to Europe. Kumar is going along for the ride to help his friend, but also has had a long fascination with marijuana, and won't pass up the opportunity to go the "weed capital of the world." They start off on their trip, but on the flight over, problems ensue when Kumar decides that he needs to get high from a stash he took on the plane with him. Needless to say, they get caught, get in trouble, and through a twist, are accused of terrorism, and sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to be held for trial.

Through a few chance moments, the guys are able to escape from the detention center, and are now on a new quest to find one of Harold's friends who he hopes can help them clear up the misunderstanding. Everything from the first few segments is intended to put Harold and Kumar on another road trip, this time with the goal of getting from Cuba to Texas with the help of some friends from the first film along the way. It's not an innovative plot by any means, but a methodology for the pair to be put in similar situations as before, and to see the humor and comedy that they encounter while trying to save themselves. Playing off each other, Harold is the down-to-Earth guy who wants to just get to the end-goal, but Kumar is the guy who wants to have as much fun as possible along the journey. Comedy ensues, and the audience is treated to a lot of laughs as the story works towards its end.

Now if you saw the first film, you already know that the humor used in the sequel is going to be quite crude, often referencing drug use and sexual encounters, with other filler that pokes fun at the Indian and Korean backgrounds of the two main characters. It's not a film that is at all suitable for kids, and not only has drug use, but includes a lot of nudity as well. Having said that, and having the willingness to admit that this is indeed a very low-brow comedy, I still have to say that I enjoyed a lot of the humor in Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. It is a film that is good for quite a few laughs, has those moments where you say "I can't believe they just did that", and stays true to the first film in many regards. I think that if you enjoyed Part 1 that you will enjoy Part 2, and even if it is less funny, it can still holds its own. Be also warned that if this doesn't sound like your type of film, then you would be better off just avoiding it, because it could easily offend.












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