In Danny Leiner's sweetly silly HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE, John Cho
and Kal Penn play a couple of part-time stoners named Harold and Kumar. In a
quest one night for some variety in their fast food diet, they decide to leave
their New Jersey apartment in order to eat at White Castle hamburgers, the East
Coast gold standard for burgers. (Here on the West coast, it's In 'N Out
Burger.) Their adventure, which is filled with side trips and disasters, is as
much a search for weed as it is for meat.
The movie pokes fun at the overachieving culture of Asian-Americans. Harold is
a junior investment banker who takes abuse everywhere but doesn't like it. He
is currently having a fling with Maria (Paula Garcés), a woman with whom he has
a ten second relationship most days in the elevator. He doesn't actually speak
or do anything, but he has plans and dreams.
Meanwhile fellow brainiac Kumar is supposed to be going to med school to follow
in his father's footsteps. No chance of that, however, since Kumar blows off
his med school interviews and uses his medical textbook for paper to smoke his
joints. Like Harold, he has dreams too, but his are of having sex with a human
sized bag of pot. Did I mention yet how hilariously over-the-top the script
is? There is bathroom humor aplenty, but it is surprising how fresh they make
most of the recycled material feel.
In easily the funniest and most outlandish episode, the boys wreck their car
and are picked up by a pus-ridden redneck named Freakshow, played by an
unrecognizable Christopher Meloni from "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
Freakshow, who appears to be a human cannibal from a cheesy horror show, brings
the boys home to meet his wife, Lianne (Malin Akerman), a seductive and
gorgeous girl. He tells the lads to have sex with his wife, which seems too
good to be true, but the guys engage in a quick game of rock-paper-scissors to
see who will be first. Needless to say, things don't turn out quite the way
Harold and Kumar had hoped.
Another episode has them picking up a horny Neil Patrick Harris, who plays
himself in the film. Harris has only one thing on his mind in the movie, and
it isn't fast food or marijuana. He plays a bizarre character in a movie full
I've probably told you enough, and I didn't even get to the skinheads who
destroy a convenience store with an aerial game of "extreme kayaking." You
have to see it to believe it.
HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE runs a fast 1:27. It is rated R for
"strong language, sexual content, drug use and some crude humor" and would be
acceptable for teenagers.
My son Jeffrey, age 15, thought the film was hilarious and gave it a full ****.
He said that it may be pointless, but it sure was really, really funny and
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes