Thursday, May 28, 2009

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

Starring John Cho, Kal Penn, et al
Rated R, 88 minutes

I love White Castle burgers. I love dumb comedies. You’d think the two together would be heaven.

Harold Lee (Cho) is an Asian-born stock analyst who gets extra work dumped on him by his superiors. Kumar Patel (Penn) is a would-be medical student who has all the talent to go into practice, but none of the drive. After a typical day of the world having their way with them, the two roommates get baked. A commercial for White Castle beckons. What a perfect thing to stave off the munchies, they think. So the pair set off on a journey for the small square burgers that predictably goes awry.

When this movie came out, it made no secret what it was going to be. Two dudes want to go to White Castle, and find themselves entangled in comedic speed bumps along the way. The film itself doesn’t waste time, or brain power, getting you to that point. This would be forgivable if the jokes were amazingly funny. But even the premises are weakly constructed, leaving little breathing room or even half-plausible transition between bits.

Some people said you need to watch this movie stoned. Well, great. I’ll keep that in mind. I believe “The English Patient” was supposed to be enjoyed that way too.

There was one part where the guys find themselves on a runaway cheetah. The bad green screen effect was more than likely part of the joke. But after so many weak moments, having my intelligence insulted again just made the bad taste in my mouth get even worse. The leads turn in good performances, but they didn’t exactly have a lot of scenes where acting muscles needed flexing.


Like a lot of popular comedies as of late, seeing this out of season didn’t help. Neil Patrick Harris’ cameo was not only spoiled by my peers who saw it, but a lot of the humor in it has since passed. Neil’s career had a tremendous upswing with “How I Met Your Mother” after this film was released. Some part of me wondered if being a pot smoker would’ve made this movie better. If that were the case, I’d suggest a new slang term for marijuana – “miracle worker.”

1 comment:

say_andy said...

I found this one mildly amusing, but don't refute anything you write here. I gave up on the sequel after half an hour about a week ago.