Friday, March 04, 2005

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITECASTLE – superior gross-out comedy

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITECASTLE is the perfect Friday night, gross-out, frat-boy comedy. It has a neat but simple plot, lots of great one-liners, some good visual gags, and a happy ending. This is not rocket science – just comedy that works. The basic idea is that Harold and Kumar – to young guys just out of college – get stoned, get the munchies, see an ad for Whitecastle hamburgers on TV, and decide to go to Whitecastle and eat those luscious burgers. That’s it! On the way, they get sidetracked by psychos, the need to buy more pot, an invitation to a student party and other sundry classic plot devices. And then, finally, they get to Whitecastle. I’d love to tell you that they learn a lot about themselves along the way, and there are some nods to a more profound message in the movie. Harold is a pent-up young investment banker who learns to say “f*ck it, let’s just have a good time.” Kumar is guy who is fighting against his family’s desire for him to become a doctor, just like his dad and brother, who eventually realises that rebellion aside, he actually *wants* to be a doctor. But in all honesty, I would be struggling to call these plot strands “character development”. Fundamentally, this is just a great buddy movie, performed by two guys with superb comic timing and good chemistry – Kal Penn and John Cho. Oh yeah, I should also mention that it features cool cameos from Ryan Reynolds and cult-status self mockery from Neil Patrick Harris a.k.a Doogie Howser MD. Somehow it doesn’t sound very funny when I type this up, but the line “Doogie Howser stole my car!” had me rolling in the aisle. Genius.

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITECASTLE was released in the US last year. Re-branded as HAROLD AND KUMAR GET THE MUNCHIES, the movie opens in the UK today.

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