Harold And Kumar Go to White Castle

aka HAROLD & KUMAR GET THE MUNCHIES (UK)
Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, Malin Akerman, Anthony Anderson, Boyd Banks
Director: Danny Leiner

Before we proceed ask yourself what you would do to get that dream meal that you desire and absolutely must have irrespective of the time of day no matter how inopportune it might be? Well meet Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) who fall prey to extreme temptation when they see a mouth watering TV ad for a hamburger!

Harold is a junior investment banker who is constantly being used by other employees to do their work because of his lack of assertiveness and then there is Kumar (Kal Penn), an excessive marijuana smoking stoner with a strict dad who wants him to go to medical school but all Kumar wants to do is get high! On one normal Friday evening for Harold and Kumar, which is sitting at home getting high as stoners do, they see an advert for White Castle’s tasty burgers on the TV that gets their mouths watering. They decide that their mission should they choose to accept it, and of course they do, is to seek out those scrumptious burgers and satisfy their burning desire and hunger.

On the way they encounter corrupt cops, a helpful freaky mechanic with a drop dead gorgeous wife, an escaped cheetah and many more hilariously weird things as they continue with their mission to seek out those White Castle burgers. Despite all these obstacles they discover that it is actually their own personality problems that hold them back and this journey helps them realise that they are capable of much more than they ever imagined was possible!

Danny Leiner has crafted a movie that harks back to the days of films like REVENGE OF THE NERDS. He takes two unlikely stoners and combines classic cult stoner comedy with a slice of self discovery and manages to pull it off because the film makes it clear that its main aim is to entertain and get the audience to enjoy themselves.

John Cho is excellent as the stressed guy with low assertiveness that cannot even muster the courage to say ‘hi’ to his gorgeous neighbour even though he really, really wants to and then finds this one night on a crazy hamburger mission totally changes his perspective on life.

Kal Penn equally puts in a talented performance for his stoned character who would actually have a great natural ability as a doctor but instead chooses to get high. Also changed due to the weirdly wondrous happenings of that one memorable night, their combined relaxed chemistry seems to naturally fit the stoner image. With a host of cameos from the likes of Sean William Scott and Jamie Kennedy in addition to several memorable ridiculously funny scenes such as a dream sequence where Kumar after finding a huge wad of marijuana starts imagining that he is getting married to the marijuana now complete with hands and legs and making love amongst other things, this is a hilarious movie.

A great popcorn movie that should soon reach cult status for its genuine stoner and toilet humour appeal.

4 out of 6 stars

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