The doobie brothers are back, though wildly diverging lifestyle choices have left the best bud-loving buds all but estranged. Harold (John Cho) continues his ascent at his Wall Street firm, returning each night to his suburban nest, where wife Maria (Paula Garces) awaits. Med-school dropout Kumar (Kal Penn) lives in his own filth, blazing while watching reruns and scarfing down waffles. Christmas is just a few days away, further highlighting how much the two have grown apart: Harold is consumed with pleasing Maria's Yuletide-worshipping father; Kumar has nothing better to do than go to a party where he has been promised the opportunity to deflower a virgin. A monster joint and a quest to replace a perfect fir tree in Harold's living room reunite them. Sort of acknowledging its own unnecessity, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas — directed by first-timer Todd Strauss-Schulson and written, as the first two H & K films were, by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg — at least makes good use of the extra dimension, as clouds of pot smoke drift in front of your nose. Some of the wildly inappropriate gags — like a toddler who ingests pot, coke, and ecstasy — kill. But where Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Escape From Guantanamo Bay gained focus — and potency — in sending up Bush II-era stupidity (and dumb crackers in general), Christmas has no real political targets. The third installment still reads as angry, but the ire comes across as self-loathing.
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Writer: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Producer: Greg Shapiro
Cast: John Cho, Kal Penn, Neal Patrick Harris, Danny Trejo, Danneel Ackles, Elias Koteas, Paula Garcés, Thomas Lennon, Patton Oswalt and Eddie Kaye Thomas