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Wed April 23, 2008
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
A Raunchy Ride
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay may be funnier than the time they went to White Castle. The same no-holds-barred low humor prevails, the screw turning tighter this time in a bottomless party (both sexes) and smoking serious weed with the president.
The two picaresque heroes have been mistaken for terrorists, escape from the infamous Guantanamo, and finally travel to Texas to gain their freedom from the charges. But that's just the plot; the real joy of this slacker/stoner story is lampooning the conservative, sometimes neoconservative, power structure of America today, be it the over-profiling of Homeland Security or the hypocritical lawmakers who smoke the stuff but jail those others who do.
From the first sequence, where the two attempt to get stoned on the plane even before they arrive at smoke-free Amsterdam to an evening with a redneck and his voluptuous wife, with a wild threesome in between, this film is recklessly ribald, exploding pretense while it evokes gut-level laughs. Neal Patrick Harris as himself visiting a Texas whorehouse to "get his fuck on" after eating way too many 'shrooms is just one of the many sidebars to this raunchy ride. Dialogue like this reveals an insidious intelligence behind the dorm-like humor: "Chloe: You remember that time you stole that monkey and put it in Rosenberg's dorm room? Kumar Patel: Had I known that the monkey had AIDS I never would have done that."
If you didn't like the Slyders first time around, you won't like the bong this time. But if you demand your base humor be as low as it can go, you'll laugh as I did and wonder at your taste.
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org Fridays at 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm and on demand anytime. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com