Monday, June 16, 2008

I hate sandwiches!!! Harold and Kumar escape from Guantanamo Bay - The Review.

I watched Harold Lee and Kumar Patel indulge themselves in riotous fantasies such as riding a cheetah, doing time and then, escaping from a racist county prison, getting stoned to hysteric levels and yes, eating thirty juicy White Castle burgers and four crunchy French fries at one go. Yum...Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was a delicacy! And now, they dish out the sequel, which is nothing short of a feast!

That's right! Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanomo Bay is as good as the first edition if not better. If not for Harold's cursing and swearing at Kumar for getting them into fix after fix, then watch it for Kumar's apology to Harold at the end. This is not a brainless comedy, as many people presume it to be. It has a tight storyline, albeit one with crazy sub-plots and even crazier characters.

The movie starts off at the precise moment the prequel ended. Harold in the bath and Kumar in the starts with a bang! Anyway, our two lead roles are on their way to Amsterdam to surprise Maria, Harold's big-time crush, and to win her over. At the airport, they come across Vanessa, Kumar's ex from college. For a fleeting moment, you get to see Kumar again in love until Vanessa's fiance shows up. Apparently he is a person Kumar always hated. All said and done, Vanessa and her fiance move on. And Kumar, the crackpot comes back again into the fold. This time, he wants to smoke weed in the toilet of the plane. He has invented a new device called a, hold your breath, 'Bong', which is most probably a vaporizer. The events that follow are ludicrous, to say the least. On a serious note however, it highlights the paranoid-like phobia that Americans have of all ethnic races.

At this point, Ron Fox makes his entry. The devious official is out to make life hell for Harold and Kumar and obviously, decides that both are going to Guantanamo Bay. Watch the movie to see what they are subjected to, in Guantanamo Bay. It is hilarious. Seriously it is, but, a satirical version of the sad truth behind G-bay. As you watch this movie, you realize some really responsible messages emerging out of it.

If you liked their escaping from the county prison in the prequel, you will love their escaping from Guantanamo Bay. This is the point where you begin to hate sandwiches. Trust me, you will! Escaping successfully, they end up at their friend's place, where a trend-setting party is going on. Don't miss this part! You will also know why they did not release the movie in India at this juncture. Ohhhh! Meanwhile, their parents are grilled by Ron Fox. The scene in which Ron Fox's interpretor asks Harold's Korean parents questions in Korean and to which they answer in crisp English is really amusing. In disguise, it is actually a critique of the way America treats its immigrant population.

Back to Harold and Kumar. They borrow the friend's car and decide to drive to Texas. On the way, they come across a Ku Klux Klan meeting. The obvious happens. They take the places of two knocked-out members, laugh with the Klan members and then are exposed, when the missing members return. They are pursued until finally, Neil Patrick Harris shows up. The three of them resume their drive to Texas. In the meantime, a couple of their friends are rounded up for interrogation by Ron Fox. I had a real kick after watching this scene. Ron Fox tempts them by spilling gold coins from a pouch in front of them. One of them is Jewish and the other I do not know. They resist the temptation. However, once Ron Fox exits, they decide to pocket the coins. That takes the cake, really!

On their way to Texas, Harold, Kumar and Harris are intercepted at a checkpoint set up by Ron Fox. I had a really good laugh at Fox's bungling here. He allows them to move on. He is a Harris fan and so, he decides to let Harris without checking the car, over-ruling the responsible police official. It is again a veiled mockery of the American government's failure to act when needed and reckless intervention when not needed. Harris is again in his elements here, sighting a white unicorn and eating mushrooms by the dozen. They stop at a brothel, where they hope to have some fun. I will not reveal what happens in the brothel as it is too funny a scene to divulge any information about. Watch the movie and you will be in splits at this juncture. Here again, the movie makes fun of America's gun culture.

The brothel incident past them, Harold and Kumar make it to Texas. They go to Vanessa's fiance, who apparently, is a young ambitious wanna-be politician. It is comical to watch Harold rebuke Kumar and order him to stay put in the car. Kumar, wanting to obey Harold's writ for once, tries hard but falters. Vanessa trips on her ankle and Kumar leaps out to be her knight of the moment. Meanwhile, her fiance assures them of all help possible, but sells out to Ron Fox. Needless to say, they are all on their way back to G-bay, when the responsible NSA chief confronts Fox. In the melee, Harold and Kumar fall out of the plane, albeit with parachutes, and land in, oh my god, George Bush's summer retreat. Here on till the climax, the movie is brilliant. You will realize it when you watch it.

So, watch the movie for some really good laughs and kicks. Hats off to the directors for deriving some serious messages to the audience through critical humor. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is one movie you should not miss for the world. Well-knit in satire and humor, the characters are well-cast with a near-seamless transition from its predecessor. On the whole, the movie is more about loving America than anything else. Let that not hinder you, though. :)

At the same time, I would strongly recommend you to watch it alone or with friends and definitely not, with family!

Harold and Kumar rule!
My Verdict - 4.5/5

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