Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)

How I Met a drug addled Doogie Howser

Harold (John Cho) is a slightly uptight banker who begrudgingly accepts into doing his colleagues' work. Kumar (Kal Penn) is a slacker who intentionally botches every medical school interview his father gives him. The two are best friends, who after smoking some marijuana, decide to drive to White Castle to get some food, but find the nearest White Castle is no longer there. Given directions by a crazy Burger Shack employee, they then decide to drive to the next closest White Castle, but end up encountering a number of problems along the way.

One thing you have to accept while you watch this is that this film is unashamedly bats-arse crazy, and it bloody well knows it. If the characters in an American Pie film suddenly rode a stoned cheetah through the woods, it's only natural that you'd call bullshit, but when it happens in this film, you go along with it, because after everything that preceded the cheetah riding scene, it feels as much in place as anything else shown in this film and it's just wise to go along with it.

The two leads give tremendous performances and share a great chemistry which has you easily believing the friendship between the two, especially during the scene where they singalong together. Neil Patrick Harris gets a few scenes where he plays himself, or to be more accurate, a parody of himself where he's the type of guy who will hijack a car and then snort lines of coke off a hookers ass.

The plot is pretty thin, as it's pretty much just the characters going to White Castle and get lost due to a number of misadventures, but that is utterly fine, as the great thing about these numerous misadventures is how unpredictably crazy they are.

The film's humor pretty much falls into three different categories: crude, random and offensive. The three types of humor manage to merge well within this film, whilst consistently managing to keep hold of the element of surprise, as the film leads you into a false sense of security, with you thinking you know what will happen next, when a raccoon pops out and starts his attack.

Kumar, spelled with only one U

The duo also encounter a number of antagonists along the way, starting with the extreme douchebags, who are pretty much racist bullies who keep shouting "EXTREME!". I felt they were brilliant adversaries for Harold and Kumar, as they brought a great sense of conflict between the two fractions, they helped to further the plot and the arcs for the duo and it helped that every scene they were in was pretty damn funny. There's also a racist cop who's a part of what can be described as the most culturally insensitive police force I have seen, or at least one of the most culturally insensitive. This is the kind of force that will arrest a black man after getting a call about shots being fired, despite the fact that said man was sleeping in his bed at the same time. For all of their being culturally insensitive, these cops were a very entertaining part of the film.

Despite all of my praising for this film, there are a few negativities that I feel need to be addressed. Firstly, there's a terrible scene which i'm not going to describe, I will merely call it the 'Battleshits' scene. There's a moment when Kumar has a romantic fantasy about a bag of weed which is utterly pointless and doesn't really add anything to the overall film. And I feel like the film could've done without the Freakshow bit, which was a bit gross, but I will give praise for the great ending to that bit.

At only 88 Minutes long, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is not a film that outstays it's welcome, but takes you on an entertaining ride and gives you a great amount of hilarious moments that will stick in your mind long after the credits have rolled.


Zachary Marsh said…
This movie has such a replay factor. I cannot stop laughing every time Neil Patrick comes on screen. Plus the high cheetah scene was freaking great! Awesome review! Keep up the good work.
James Rodrigues said…
It does have a great replay factor, I still laugh hard at the scenes whenever I see them. Cheers, Zach