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Saturday, December 10, 2022

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Stoner duo blazes new trails in ‘Guantanamo’


The hilarious antics of Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) in Harold ‘ Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay are even wilder than 2004’s Harold ‘ Kumar Go To White Castle. This sequel works on a grander scale than the original because it places more emphasis on other memorable characters that the wild duo encounter in the U.S. and overseas, rather than just in New Jersey.

The sequel starts off right where White Castle ends. Harold (or Roldy, as Kumar calls him) decides to take up Kumar’s suggestion they travel to Amsterdam in order to find Harold’s crush, Maria (Paula Garc’eacute;s), while they, of course, enjoy their favorite pastime: getting high.

The duo is Europe-bound until the impatient Kumar refuses to wait eight hours to smoke in Amsterdam and decides to toke up in the airplane lavatory by using a smokeless bong that he invented. Just as the typically paranoid Harold fears, Kumar’s smoke session leads to trouble when a passenger mistakes him for a terrorist because of his Indian ethnicity and the bong in his hand. When Kumar tries to explain it is only a bong, and not a weapon, all the passengers panic because they mishear him, thinking he said "bomb." Needless to say, Kumar and Harold are arrested in the plane by sky marshals. This is just one in a series of misadventures.

The strengths of this movie, which was written, produced and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hay Schlossberg, are the endlessly hilarious events. Before you can stop laughing about one thing, something else happens that makes you laugh again.

After being arrested by the Feds, the duo is interrogated by the head of Secretary of Defense, Ron Fox (The Daily Show’s Rob Corddry), who steals the show with his ignorant attitude and entertaining one-liners. Harold and Kumar are unfairly sentenced to Guantanamo Bay after being mistaken for terrorists by the overzealous Fox, who says of the duo, "North Korea and al-Qaeda working together. This is bigger than I thought."

Other show-stealers include Neil Patrick Harris (better known as ‘Doogie Howser’), who plays a larger role than last time. If you thought Harris was wild in the first movie, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Harold and Kumar interact with plenty of other memorable characters in their travels through places such as Cuba, Alabama, Amsterdam and Texas. The visit to the latter state is probably the most special because Harold and Kumar crash land through the roof of the home of President Bush (who reacts to the noise that the duo’s crash makes by asking "Conda-licious, is that you?"). The President is played by James Adomian, who has previously appeared as Bush on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Late Show.

Some of the movie’s best one-liners come from Bush during a weed-smoking session with Harold and Kumar. Bush also helps them crash the wedding of Kumar’s ex-girlfriend and a shady guy that Kumar despises. Kumar’s disdain is exemplified when he drives up to the house of this guy and says, "It smells like douche."

Harold ‘ Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is wilder than and improves upon its predecessor because the setting is expanded worldwide and it analyzes different cultural stereotypes in America. Of course you’ll also be laughing all the way through the movie.


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