‘Harold & Kumar’ reunite for laughs

Justin Marietti

The modern day Cheech and Chong are back with their third installment. Only this time, Harold and Kumar are in 3-D. It’s been quite a while since the last time I paid the extra money to see a film in 3-D and actually left the theater feeling like it was worth it. This one was worth it.

Although the protagonists spend a great deal of time making a parody out of everything from the recent surge of 3-D viewing to claymation, they still manage to make this one of the most entertaining movies of the fall season.

The story picks up about six years after the last movie. This time around, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) have grown apart, and at least one of them is living a much different life than before.

Harold works on Wall Street, and he is now married to his love interest of the first two films. He has given up his pot habit and his new best friend is a weird, creepy little guy.

Kumar is still a raging pothead, unable to take much in life seriously. He lives in a small apartment, and his most recent attempt at employment was quickly halted by a failed drug test. His current best friend is a young, foul-mouthed kid who has about as much charm as McLovin’ from “Superbad.”

The two ex-partners in crime pretend like they are better off without each other. Regardless, their paths cross again when Kumar receives a package addressed to Harold, and he decides to hand deliver it.

Within just a few moments, Kumar manages to set fire to the picturesque Christmas tree Harold’s father-in-law had been growing for eight years. Very quickly, it feels like old times for the duo and the audience alike.

Since I was such a huge fan of the original “White Castle” film, I couldn’t help but feel as though the second movie fell a little short. But in every way, this installment goes above and beyond either of its predecessors.

Of course, neither of the first two films were for audiences that may be easily offended. Drug use, sex, racial and religious stereotypes are the foundation of Harold and Kumar’s humor.

So if you found either of those movies to be too much, I definitely don’t recommend “3-D Christmas.” But if you can take their jokes with a grain of salt, there is a great deal of laughs to be had. This movie has everything Harold and Kumar fans could ask for, from sensitive mobsters to a waffle-making robot sidekick.

I found the “Wafflebot” to be one of the funniest characters in this movie. And although he allegedly died in the second film, Neil Patrick Harris somehow makes his triumphant return to the series.

As with the “Hangover” films, “Harold and Kumar” movies tend to follow a formula. This one is no different, other than the fact that the two are separated in the beginning. Typically, all kinds of trouble ensues, and then continues to snowball for the duration of the film.

Then things go around full circle, and there are those slightly cheesy “best friend” moments, but everything turns out perfect in the end.

This is a formula that fans of the series don’t seem to mind, because although they can seem like dim-witted potheads at times, we can’t help but cheer them on.

I highly recommend this movie, no pun intended. I haven’t laughed this hard since the last weed-infused action comedy, “Pineapple Express.”