Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

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Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Two rabbits in orange jumpsuits behind a wire fence.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon Hurwitz
Hayden Schlossberg
Produced by Jon Hurwitz
Hayden Schlossberg
Written by Jon Hurwitz
Hayden Schlossberg
Starring John Cho
Kal Penn
Danneel Harris
Rob Corddry
Neil Patrick Harris
Music by George S. Clinton
Cinematography Daryn Okada
Editing by Jeff Freeman
Studio Mandate Pictures
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • April 25, 2008 (2008-04-25)
Running time Theatrical cut
102 minutes
Unrated cut
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Box office $43,493,123

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is a 2008 American stoner comedy film, the second installment in the Harold & Kumar series. The film was written, produced, and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.

The story continues where Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle leaves off, with Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) flying to Amsterdam. They are then imprisoned and end up on a series of comical misadventures when they escape from Guantanamo Bay. The film also stars Paula Garcés,[1] Neil Patrick Harris, Jon Reep, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms,[1] David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jack Conley, Roger Bart, Danneel Harris, Eric Winter, Adam Herschman and Richard Christy.[2]

The film was released on April 25, 2008 by Warner Bros.; this film was the first New Line Cinema title to be distributed by Warner Bros. since New Line Cinema became a division of Warner Bros. It is also the first Harold & Kumar film made in association with Mandate Pictures.[3] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on July 29, 2008.

Plot[edit]

Following the events of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold Lee and Kumar Patel set off on a flight to Amsterdam so that Harold can pursue a budding romance with his neighbor, Maria. Before they board their plane, they run into a friend from college, Colton, and Kumar's ex-girlfriend, Vanessa, who are getting married in Texas. During the flight, a woman suspects Kumar of being a terrorist after mistaking his bong for a bomb. Sky marshals detain the duo and the plane diverts to Washington D.C. where Ron Fox, an obsessive and racist Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, sends them to Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, thinking they are agents of a joint Al-Qaeda and North Korean conspiracy, against the advice of NSA Vice-Chairman Beecher. With the inadvertent assistance of two other prisoners, Harold and Kumar escape and board a Cuban refugee boat to Miami, Florida. They meet up with their college friend, Raza, who loans them a car so they can travel to Texas to get help from Colton, whose family has political connections.

During the car ride, Kumar remembers first meeting Vanessa at the library and experiencing smoking a joint, while Harold walks by. Fox interrogates Harold and Kumar's parents utilizing an incompetent interpreter, despite their English fluency. Harold and Kumar end up lost in Birmingham, Alabama. They mistake a group of African Americans for gang members, and after crashing their car, they flee on foot from the approaching group, who were actually planning to repair the car. They meet a friendly hunter and stay with him and his wife at their well-kept trailer home, even sharing some weed. When someone knocks at the door, Harold and Kumar hide in the basement and discover the couple's inbred cycloptic son. At night, while Kumar dreams of a threesome with Vanessa and a large bag of weed, Harold is shocked to find the son in his bed, and they promptly leave. In the woods, Harold and Kumar encounter a Ku Klux Klan rally. They hide until some members approach with a beer keg. After knocking out the two members and putting on their robes, they mingle until the other two return, declaring them to be "Mexicans".

The Klansmen chase Harold and Kumar until their leader accidentally sets himself on fire. The two run into Neil Patrick Harris, who offers them a ride. Fox continues demonstrating his racial ignorance as he interrogates the African Americans Harold and Kumar encountered in Birmingham as well as Harold and Kumar's friends, Rosenberg and Goldstein. Harris, under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms, smuggles them past Fox's security checkpoint. They stop at a brothel, but while Harris leaves with a big breasted prostitute, Harold and Kumar separate and talk about their friendship issues with their girls. Harris causes a situation by branding his woman. As they flee, Harris is shot in the back. While grieving, Harold and Kumar look through Harris' possessions, finding Chris Fehn's mask, a jar of human hair, and a dozen mace cans. Harold and Kumar arrive in Texas, where Colton promises to help them out of their situation, but when he sees Kumar reconnecting with Vanessa, he turns them over to Fox. On the flight back to Guantanamo Bay, Kumar apologizes to Harold and they forgive each other.

Harold uses Harris' mace to incapacitate two guards, but Fox catches them. As he prepares to shoot them, an infuriated Beecher knocks down Fox and calls him out on his incompetence, saying that it is people like him who make Americans look stupid. He tries to tie Fox up but slips and knocks the plane door open, sucking out everyone inside. Kumar hangs on to Harold, who has deployed a parachute, and they crash through the roof of President George W. Bush's Texas house. Bush brings them to his recreation room, and they bond by smoking weed. Bush promises to pardon Harold and Kumar and to help them with whatever they need. Escorted by the Secret Service, Harold and Kumar interrupt Colton and Vanessa's wedding. Colton confronts Kumar, but Harold punches him, and Kumar reconnects with Vanessa by reciting the poem he was writing when they first met. The three head to Amsterdam where Harold reunites with Maria, and they tour Amsterdam.

In a post-credits scene, Harris is shown to have survived his wounds.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released March 23, 2008
Label Lakeshore Records

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay: Original Soundtrack was released on April 15, 2008. It contains 13 songs used in the film.

Track list
  1. "Ooh Wee" (Remix) - (Mark Ronson featuring Nate Dogg, Ghostface Killah, Trife & Saigon)
  2. "My Dick" - (Mickey Avalon)
  3. "Cappuccino" - (The Knux)
  4. "Check Yo Self" - The Message Remix- (Ice Cube)
  5. "My Stoney Baby" - (311)
  6. "Chinese Baby" - (Viva La Union)*
  7. "Nothin' but a Good Time" - (Poison)
  8. "Pussy (Real Good)" - (Jacki-O)
  9. "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"" - (Boyz II Men)
  10. "In the Beginning" - (K'Naan) (Played at the end credits during their trip in Amsterdam)
  11. "Gospel Weed Song" - (Bizarre)
  12. "All That I Want" - (Curtis Murphy Syndicate)
  13. "The Merkin Medley" - (George S. Clinton)
  14. "I Love My Sex" - (Benny Benassi)

Songs that appear in the film, but are not on the soundtrack album, include:

  1. "Whiplash" - (Metallica)
  2. "Something About That Woman" - (Lakeside)
  3. "I Love Ganja" - (Rastaman Ivan)
  4. "Sippin' on Dat" - (Victor Rubio)
  5. "The Donque Song" - (will.i.am feat. Snoop Dogg)
  6. "Mr Shadowmaker" - (Jeff Cardoni)
  7. "Toca me lo" - (Lucci & Cruz)
  8. "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" - (Elvin Bishop)
  9. "Pussy ass bitch" - (Transcenders)
  10. "Danger Zone" - (Kenny Loggins)
  11. "Hey Joe" - ( Jimi Hendrix )
  12. "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" - (Belinda Carlisle)
  13. "I've Been Around Too Long" - (Marmalade (band))

(*) John Cho (Harold) is the lead singer of Viva La Union and wrote the song "Chinese Baby" from this soundtrack.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who wrote the original Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, will direct the follow-up from their original script.[4] On January 31, 2007, The Hollywood Reporter announced that David Krumholtz, Neil Patrick Harris, Rob Corddry, Christopher Meloni, Ed Helms, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Paula Garces, Jack Conley, Roger Bart, Danneel Harris and Eric Winter will join John Cho and Kal Penn in Harold & Kumar 2.[4]

Filming[edit]

Filming began in the third week of January 2007 in Shreveport, Louisiana.[4][5] Filming concluded in March 2007, after which Kal Penn was able to start guest teaching some courses at University of Pennsylvania for their Spring 2008 semester.[6]

Post-Production[edit]

Warner Bros.' spokesman said that this film was originally produced as a direct-to-video film until a decision was made to release it theatrically.[7]

The film cost $12 million to make.[3]

Promotion[edit]

In October 2007, a "coming soon" poster featuring Neil Patrick Harris began circulating on the Internet.[8] Showing Harris astride a unicorn, the advertisement poses the question "What would NPH do?"[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 54% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 132 reviews — with the general consensus that the film was not as good as the original. "It may not equal its predecessor, but Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is still good for some laughs -- and food for thought."[10] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 57 out of 100, based on 27 reviews.[11] Daily Variety declared it "Animal House meets Dr. Strangelove" and called it "one of the ballsiest comedies to come out of Hollywood in a long time."[12] The Guardian (which rated the movie 7 out of 10) noted that despite having a "total nonsense" story, its screening was "one of the most raucous screenings I've ever attended. Even the opening credits were wildly applauded, and much of the dialog was inaudible over the laughter."[13]

Not all reviews were so glowing; Richard Roeper of At the Movies lamented that although he enjoyed the "pot-fueled laughs and the sheer energetic lunacy of the original, I was really let down by this uninspired sequel."[14] The New York Daily News said that "the movie forgets to stay true to their characters or to itself."[15] Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune wrote that you "find yourself smiling at some of the bits, wincing through many, many others, and ultimately wondering if the pacing would've improved had either H or K developed a terrible cocaine habit."[16] Amnesty International USA commented by saying that "Guantanamo is no joke." They have encouraged their membership to hand out fliers at movie theater screenings to promote awareness about the treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[17]

Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $14.9 million in 2,510 theaters, in the United States and Canada, averaging $5,939 per theater and ranking #2 at the box office behind Baby Mama.[18] The film performed much better at the box office than its predecessor which grossed $23.9 million worldwide[19] after opening at #7 in the United States and Canada with $5.4 million.[20] As of July 17, the international theatrical gross stands at $43,327,445. The US DVD Sales total $23,872,890 as of 22 March 2009. The budget of the film was $12 million.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc July 29, 2008 featuring a single-disc theatrical edition, an unrated edition, or a 2-disc unrated edition. The unrated edition was featured for Blu-ray disc. The 2-disc version features a "dude change the movie" feature which lets the viewer access alternate scenes and ending including "Harold & Kumar Go to Amsterdam". This film as of March 22, 2009 had earned $23.4 million in DVD sales.[21]

Sequel[edit]

Kal Penn and John Cho returned in their title roles in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Danneel Harris reprised her role of Vanessa and Paula Garces returned as Maria. Neil Patrick Harris also returned for a cameo in this sequel.[22][23] Eddie Kaye Thomas and Bobby Lee also reprised their roles from the previous films. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas was released on November 4, 2011.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b MTV News (2007-05-18). "'Harold & Kumar 2' Gets Political". MTV Music Television. Retrieved 2008-08-09.  (Video)
  2. ^ "Lots More Hit the Road for Harold and Kumar 2". Cinematical. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  3. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (2008-04-27). "'Baby Mama' tops box office". Variety. 
  4. ^ a b c "11 Board Harold & Kumar". comingsoon.net. January 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Second Harold & Kumar Starts in January". comingsoon.net. 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2006-12-14. 
  6. ^ "'Kumar' Actor Has College Teaching Gig'". USA Today (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Associated Press. 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  7. ^ 'Baby Mama' legit at the boxoffice The Hollywood Reporter April 27, 2008
  8. ^ "'Harold & Kumar 2' Poster Asks 'WWNPHD?'". I Watch Stuff. 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  9. ^ What Would NPH Do? Redirects to http://www.haroldandkumar.com/
  10. ^ "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - Rotten Tomatoes Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  11. ^ "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  12. ^ Leydon, Joe (2008-03-09). "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay". Variety. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  13. ^ Rose, Steve (2008-03-10). "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  14. ^ Roeper, Richard (2008-04-28). "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  15. ^ Neumaier, Joe (2008-04-25). "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  16. ^ Phillips, Michael (2008-04-24). "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  17. ^ "Denounce Torture". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  18. ^ "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  19. ^ "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  20. ^ "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  21. ^ "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  22. ^ "Harold and Kumar 3 Announced". Slashfilm.com. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  23. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (2008-07-24). "'Harold & Kumar' set for third puff". Variety. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  24. ^ "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 

External links[edit]