Blu-ray Review: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas

Release Date: February 7, 2012
Rating: R
Running Time: 90 minutes (Extended Cut, 96 minutes)

Following years of growing apart, Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrives at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempt to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents – and Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree – going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree takes them through party heaven – and almost blows Christmas Eve sky high.

While A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas is not nearly as entertaining as previous Harold and Kumar films, viewers are taken on quite a wild ride that can easily be enjoyed any time of the year. Harold and Kumar are brought together for yet another laugh out loud journey that of course doesn’t go as either of them planned. Not enough films today give us that, “I wonder what’s going to happen next?” feeling but this movie does. And for that, this is a comedy that can be very much appreciated. A charming and yet somewhat disturbingly graphic claymation sequence was even incorporated into the film! Every step of this journey is unpredictable and that’s what makes this franchise so thrilling and engaging. Even better, while it’s clearly juvenile at heart, this film is not nearly as raunchy all throughout as you would expect it to be. This does not make the movie family friendly all of a sudden but even in trying to push the envelope, the R rating given is not a hard one, even for the extended edition.

The wonderful Neil Patrick Harris returns which even before watching, you know is a highlight of the film. No need to think, “I wonder how we will be incorporated this time” because the writers have really crafted a wonderful script here when it comes to the direction of its characters. What the screenplay lacks in clever dialogue, it makes up in story and direction. Not only that, the world of Harold and Kumar really comes to life with the Christmas theme as it brings such a fun but dark (in a warm way) tone that we hadn’t previously seen. The creation of Christmas for the screen and cinematography were really impressive and one of my favorite aspects about the film since Christmas is my favorite holiday. Biased here, yes, but it is a sight to see and one of the main reasons why I was so excited about this film to begin with. If you are just as big of a Christmas fan as I am but have not seen the previous Harold and Kumar fans, it is not necessary to have seen what came before. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas is a riot within itself and is worth the watch if you’re looking for a good laugh.

Bonus Features:
Through the Haze with Tom Lennon
(8 minutes) – This featurette is really a parody interview on the set with Tom Lennon (who we know as Todd in the film). It comes in six parts; “I’m Doing A Puff Piece Over Here,” “I Hate Drugs,” “F You Charles Dickens,” “I’m Just Brainstorming Here,” “The Marshmallow Man,” and “19th Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told.” It brings for some great laughs but is not a must see feature in any way.

Bringing Harold & Kumar Claymation to Life (3:30 minutes) – Director, Todd Strauss-Schulson as well as Writers/Producers Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz briefly talk about the significance of this sequence before the sequence is shown again with the original concept art for us all to see as well. If you’re interested in seeing this sequence side by side from the very beginning to the finished product, definitely check it out. Otherwise, there’s nothing to see here and nothing to gain from the interviews.

Additional Scenes (3:35 minutes) – There are three deleted scenes, all of which were clearly cut for the film for a very good reason even in the extended version. Some scenes are just never gong to make it in any version of a film and these are those ridiculous scenes. If there’s one bonus feature to skip, it’s this one.

Own A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas on Blu-Ray and DVD today.