Good bake movies are, at best, an underserved market. The last decade has seen only a few films that have plot, possibility, intelligent humor and interesting characters. Instead, it's seen a slew of movies that are just funny as hell with no sense of direction and redeeming cinematic value.
But who cares?
The latest addition to the ongoing munchie movie marathon on the shelves of several stoners is Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle - a movie with as much of a "plot" as a Seinfeld episode, ten times the humor, and half the brain cells. Stoner translation: That's some funny shiznit.
Harold (John Cho) is a white collar, subdued analyst for a large brokerage firm and Kumar (Kal Penn) is a young man on the verge of following his father's footsteps into medical school. They're also both bigger Cheechers than Tommy Chong. They're bigger bakers than Dave Chappelle. Every weekend they turn on, tune in, and smoke out.
In this particular weekend, the combination of far too much bud and far too little food make Harold and Kumar set out in search of a White Castle burger in New Brunswick, only to discover how funny and weird middle Jersey can become. Their quest to the only White Castle in the Garden State has them riding cheetahs, fighting with raccoons, arrested, and even running into Doogie Howser late at night on backroads.
No. It doesn't make any sense, but damn if it doesn't pull it off in style.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle is destined to do well, serving as a much needed shot in the arm to stoner comedies. Curiosity compelled this critic to figure out just how many people in the 18-to-25 demographic that a stoner flick of such stellar quality will draw, and the math from the White House drug policy. If every stoner in America stumbles to the theater, 4.3 million men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 will devour this film. 20 years from now, the Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle DVD will be well-worn and hidden in the stash spot of many middle-aged suburban parents.
White Castle is stocked with priceless cameos, one-liners, and running jokes. Every single scene is more surreal than the last, and filled with more randomly funny situations than you can imagine. White Castle also earns credit for not using overly cheap jokes. Throughout a 90-minute movie filled with gross-out humor, only one fart joke is made, no pastries are penetrated, and nobody makes a single MILF gag. Instead, White Castle relies on creating surreal situations for incredible laughs. It carves a niche by being one of the first mass-market films to portray Indians and Koreans as people rather than stereotypes.
At the end of the day, Harold and Kumar is one of the funniest movies this year, and will be destined to snake onto the shelves of many a lover of laughs (stoner or straight edge) over the next several years.
Grab the unrated edition to own, which offers a racier cut, some deleted scenes and outtakes, interviews, and an "extreme" commentary track. (You'll see what I mean.)
Harold and Kumar go to jail.