The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Torch Online Reviews: Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

It has been a couple years since we left our friends Harold and Kumar at their apartment building, fresh off a “successful” trip to White Castle. But although they got their burgers, Harold failed to get the girl — so why not travel out of the country to get her?

That is where the new film, “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” takes off from. Kal Penn and John Cho reprise their roles as the stoned duo taking a trip to Amsterdam. But the impatient Kumar sneaks a smokeless bong onto the flight and alarms an older woman. Enter Rob Coddry’s Agent, Ron Fox, who promptly throws them into prison at Guantanamo Bay. The duo is able to escape the “sandwich” and the prison, making their trek across America as they outrun homeland security and get their girls.

The first film was surprisingly funny considering the content matter, but mostly because they were not taking themselves seriously, and that attitude successfully carries into this film. But rather than rehash the first film, its approach covers different subjects.

This time around, they poke fun at racial profiling and the paranoia of terrorists. Rob Coddry hilariously interrogates the duo’s parents after their arrest, shocked-yet-convinced the North Koreans have begun working with al Qaeda.

Many of the jokes wander into touchy territory but it is refreshing to see a satirical take on these topics rather than seeing pundits sit behind a desk and banter. The views expressed through the characters are relatable because of the common value they possess.

It doesn’t apologize for any of it either, making the content even funnier, and that is how it should be; a movie is meant to entertain, and that is exactly what this one does. It may not be Oscar worthy, but it executes what a movie should. You’ll see that when the theater is laughing and you miss a follow up line (which you may find just as funny) because you are laughing hard too.

From a comedic quality standpoint, “Escape from Guantanamo Bay” goes far beyond the first film. The original including some completely ridiculous scenes that were too slapstick for anyone’s good. Thankfully, none of the ridiculous scenes from the first movie that were too slapstick for anyone’s good return here – though there is this one scene with a pool and something we would rather not tell you about. It is a more mature humor, as odd as that seems.

By the end of the film, you have something that works better than the first – and you get your Neil Patrick Harris fix as well. And while it doesn’t quite exactly reach what Kumar says, it is almost like Eurotrip, except it doesn’t suck.

3 out of 4 stars

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