x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Cinema review Harold and Kumar want to have their stereotypes and eat them too, but the movie's cheerful facetiousness is a manifesto of sorts.

John Cho and Kai Penn as Harold and Kumar.
John Cho and Kai Penn as Harold and Kumar.

For the uninitiated, Harold and Kumar (John Cho and Kal Penn) are roommates and best buddies, slightly brainier than your typical Road Trip slacker heroes, and distinctively Not White. Four years after they set off for a burger at White Castle (but only a few hours in elapsed screen time) the two friends board a flight for Amsterdam - only to wind up in Guantanamo Bay instead. The political satire, while welcome, is mixed in with reams of bad taste jokes and toilet humour. Rob Corddry plays the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, a rabidly racist reactionary thrilled to imagine al-Qaeda working hand in glove with North Korea. He literally wipes his backside with the Fifth Amendment. Gitmo only features in a cameo role, the scene of a predictable gag. Two wild-eyed terrorists are allowed to voice their beef with the US, but apparently it's all about the doughnuts. After a quick exit, the buds cross the southern States, eventually running into an affable President Bush. Harold and Kumar want to have their stereotypes and eat them too, but the movie's cheerful facetiousness is a manifesto of sorts.