Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle Cover Friend – pal – chum – comrade – or whatever you want to call your best bud. Sometimes, just having someone around, makes life that extra special. However, can you say the same thing about this film? That it’s special? One Directed by Danny Leiner; and Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, and Neil Patrick Harris. It was made in 2004 and lasts for 88-minutes.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Poor Harold Lee (John Cho). For his whole life, his Korean and nerdish ways have held him back in what he really wants to do. Moreover, his work-colleges assign him additional work that was meant for them. He secretly yearns for his pretty neighbor, Maria (Paula Garcés). Pllus on top of that, his Indian pal, Kumar Patel (Kal Penn), has smoked their last stash of pot, and now they both crave for some ‘White Castle’ burgers.

So what do they both do about this? Go to the closest burger joint in the vicinity, and then get something to eat there? No – not a good idea – especially considering that they serve sperm as a supplement (and I do not mean of the fish variety). So instead, Harold and Kumar decide to go on a road trip together, and along the way, they visit...

  • PRINCETOWN UNIVERSITY: Kumar wants some pot, so he manages to persuade Henry to take a slight detour on route to ‘White Castle’, so that he can score some ‘smack’ from a student there. Bad idea ! Harold gets irritated by some friends he meets. Kumar becomes disgusted by the diarrhoea-duo. And all in all, sh*t happens. 
  • THE HOSPITAL: After Harold is bitten by a stray raccoon riding in his car, both he and Kumar go to the hospital, just to make sure that everything is alright with him. Thankfully, a doctor checks him out – and Harold gets the all clear. Un-thankfully, though, Kumar’s Dad is at this place of healing also, and berates his son for an earlier transgression. Still, before they both leave, Kumar does save someone life. So that is something, right?
  • FREAKSHOW AND HIS WIFE: Now you would have thought that Harold and Kumar would be very grateful when a mobile mechanic comes to their rescue as soon as they crash their car. However, the mechanic in question of the grotesque persuasion, called Freakshow (Christopher Meloni). And to make life even more confusing for these two nerds, when they meet his wife, Liane (Malin Åkerman), whist Freakshow is fixing their car – well – I can’t say what happens – because they said never to mention it again.
  • PRISON: Alas, things get a lot worst for Harold and Kumar once they are back on the road again. They are accosted by hooligans. Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser) steals their car. Plus Harold gets arrested due to Kumar’s grandstanding. Granted, Kumar is able to get Harold out of this situation, just before they both take a ride on a stoned cheetah (don’t ask) – but will that be enough to get them back to ‘White Castle’ in time?

Well, I won’t say. But what I will say is what next transpires is a real cosmic set of circumstances all in all. Because turn around is fair play – the hunter becomes the prey – and at the end of the day, Harold proves that he is not gay.

Next stop Amsterdam.

Now when ‘Harold and Kumar Get The Munchies’ first came out, my mate Adrian said to me “Oi! You bloody idiot! Stop watching them movies my Granddad watches, because you have to see this film”. In turn, I replied back to Adrian’s missive by saying to him “Sod of you twat! How do you know what a good movie is? You thought ‘Grease’ was a f*cking documentary”. Then, before I could continue berating Adrian about his taste in films, he gave me his look – that one that always screams to me ‘trust me on this, pal’ – and I knew straight away that this film would be something that could open my eyes to an alternative way of looking at things.

And did it? Did this comedic road-trip of a film ‘change my life forever’? Nah – not really – but what it did do, was prove to me that some films are worth watching just for the sake of enjoyment.

You see, I have seen stoner films in this vein before. ‘Hopper and Fonda’ in the sixties – ‘Cheech and Chong’ in the seventies and eighties – and even ‘Kevin Smith and co’ in the nineties. And with each generation, a slightly different interpretation has been relayed. Now, in this case, race is the differentiating factor that is transposed into the proceedings – and, to me, this is what made this film a slight cut above the modern day ‘silly film’.

Kal and John in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Well, lets face it, what is the point in making a new buddy ‘stoner movie’, if you are not going to do something different with it.

Thankfully, though, that is precisely what these guys have done. ‘Harold and Kumar Get The Munchies’ is a really nice film to watch –  and it is made all the more enjoyable because of the ethnic twist it has taken, as well as the personal touches it has made. Both John Cho and Kal Penn are really believable and charming in their respective roles. Moreover, the trip they both go on is very funny most of the time.

Not all – most.

Kal and John in Prison and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Please note, there are times that this film takes a sudden left turn, which does not quite work for me. For example, in the ‘dream sequences’, or the ‘idiot white man’ sections. Also, in addition to this, near the end of the film there is a slight continuity hitch, just before Harold and Kumar hang-glide off of the mountain – one minute it is midnight, and the next it is morning.

Still, these ‘slight gaffs’ are easily overlooked all in all, unlike these pieces of trivia. (1) The writers of this film, Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz, also wrote ‘Scary Movie 3’. (2) At a young age, John Cho was a print model for many Korean magazines. (3) Karl Penn is an advocate of Barack Obama. (4) Paula Garces first came to fame in teen sci-fi adventure ‘Clockstoppers’. (5) Malin Maria Åkerman was born in Sweden and then moved to Canada. (6) Christopher Meloni’s first role was opposite Edward Woodward in the TV series ‘The Equalizer’. And (7) Neil Patrick Harris once played Tonto in a school production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

Sex in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Neat stuff, huh? Just as neat as this film as a matter of fact. A nice film – a silly film – and a film that is as uplifting and as surreal as the substance it advocates.

And I do not mean Obama, hint-hint!


HAROLD AND KUMAR GET THE MUNCHIES HAROLD AND KUMAR GET THE MUNCHIES Reviewed by David Andrews on February 20, 2012 Rating: 5
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