Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle was a pretty good little movie, despite many claims otherwise. It’s not a work of great art, and it’s not the best film in the doped up minorities genre (although how could it be, with Cheech & Chong basically owning that field?), and it’s a little tamer than I like, but in general it was funny and Kal Penn and John Cho had great chemistry. Plus it had a nice sense of the absurd, which was mostly shown by having Neil Patrick Harris playing a straight guy (come on, was anyone shocked when that dude came out?).
The movie did well enough to warrant a sequel, which has moved ahead without director Danny Leiner (who also directed the equally underrated Dude, Where’s My Car?, a movie that plays like the third Bill & Ted film, just without good leads). Harold & Kumar 2 (which was once Harold & Kumar Go to Amsterdam – has that title been dropped?) is written by the same guys who penned the original, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who are now moving into the directing chair.
The movie opens right after the end of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, as the duo get on a plane for Amsterdam. When passengers think Kumar is a terrorist, they get diverted to Guantanamo and then escape into the American South where they run into “myriad wackos, jerks and whores” (sounds like a Faraci family reunion) while being chased by Homeland Security.
The sequel has just added a whopping 11 cast members, and many of them are gold – and returning gold, at that. Neil Patrick Harris is back, presumably again as himself. Chris Meloni returns, which is nice because Law & Order: Special Victims Unit never gives him a chance to show off his comedy chops (so ably shown in Harold & Kumar 1 and Wet Hot American Summer). Roger Bart, late of Desperate Housewives and The Producers, also shows up, as does David Krumholtz (Numb3rs), Rob Corddry and Ed Helms (both Daily Show alums), Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie), Paula Garces (the first Harold & Kumar), Jack Conley, Danneel Harris and Eric Winter (assorted nonsense). A cavalcade of comedy!