Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Review, by Joe Leydon of Variety

Whether the pic can attract newcomers to the franchise --and score breakthrough success during its theatrical run -- depends on the willingness of the masses to accept a sex-drugs-and-rock-'n'-roll comedy so jeeringly critical of post-9/11 paranoia and so openly contemptuous of authoritarian excesses by U.S. government agencies charged with waging the war on terror.

It's like "Animal House" meets "Dr. Strangelove" -- although, truth be told, it's highly unlikely even Stanley Kubrick would have dared attempt a scene like the one here in which an insanely overzealous Dept. of Homeland Security chief literally wipes his backside with the Bill of Rights.

Not that the entire pic is a slapsticky, scatological remix of a Keith Olbermann tirade. Indeed, long stretches are simply variations of comic riffs from the first "Harold & Kumar" misadventure. Once again, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn), pot-toking twentysomethings with drastically dissimilar degrees of ambition, set out on a cross-country quest fueled by their taste for Cannabis. Also once again, the buddies manage to subvert stereotypes (even while playing them for laughs) during close encounters with strangers who range from seriously weird to downright dangerous.

And yes, once again, the boys cross paths with Neil Patrick Harris, who takes unseemly delight in playing himself as a drug-consuming sexaholic who exploits his "Doogie Howser" fame at every opportunity.

To read the rest of this review, visit Variety:

Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay


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