Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Over-Thinking Harold and Kumar 2

Last Friday I caught H&K2 with Steve and Addy, and it was very funny. I definitely laughed a lot.

H&K2 escaped the typical problems that sequels commonly face: repetitious jokes, desperate attempts to recapture the magic, ridiculous catch-phrases.

But what H&K2 was missing that H&K1 had down was elegance and growth. H&K1 was a journey of personal discovery. A step towards adulthood and the reminder that adulthood need not be torturous. That we can have our cake and eat it to- we just have to make our own damn cake. H&K2 did not have that growth, probably because the characters had literally just finished their growth.

H&K1 had a more humorous and complex view of race then H&K2 and really explored that theme. H&K2 was a more political film that spent less time touching on racial stereotypes and more time touching on Republican bashing and Kumar’s penis.

H&K2 fell into the greatest trap of movies of its kind; confusing gross with funny. The spunk in the face. The pot bag with a vagina. I could go on at length. I guess they felt that they needed to “push the envelope”, which is fine, but behind the envelope there needs to be a purpose.

H&K1 was incredibly well crafted. Roldy and Kumar, thwarted at every turn, forced to face the stereo types of race, the challenges of being in-between adulthood and childhood, and familial pressures figure some shit out. Every line had punch. Every scene was memorable. It was just elegant.

I liked H&K2, but it could never be my favorite movie. It lacked in the meticulous design and elegant planning that characterized H&K1. It was less anecdotal and more political. Less funny and grosser. The characters failed to learn or grow. In a word it was stagnant.

But it was still funny.

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