On A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, briefly

I saw A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas and found it pretty awesome. Out of curiosity, I read some of the reviews online this morning and I thought a lot of them missed the mark.

Most of them focused on the plot, which is more or less what you’d expect from a Harold and Kumar Christmas movie: Holiday-themed stoner hijinks, framed by the now-rich Harold’s search for a Christmas tree to impress his terrifying father-in-law after the still-slacking Kumar burns his down. For much of the movie Harold and Kumar aren’t really friends, which is at least vaguely interesting.

But the movie’s real appeal, to me, lied in its comic exploitation of the 3D medium. Early on there’s a wink-wink moment in which Harold’s assistant details the merits of 3D television — which did not at all jump the shark — and from there, the movie endeavors various trippy sequences clearly aimed at making full use of the technology: an egging, a hallucinogenic claymation romp, a commercial for a waffle-making robot, and backstories told in partly animated comic-book style.

It’s all pretty gimmicky (and the movie makes no effort to pretend otherwise), but it makes for an excellent visual spectacle and a compelling case to shell out for tickets to see it in its intended form. I found myself laughing more at the cinematographical (is that a word?) humor than anything any of the characters said.

I didn’t see Jackass 3D, but Harold and Kumar made a pretty good case for the way 3D can and should be used in comedies. It requires something of an adjustment on the part of the audience, perhaps, and funny things flying off the screen at you aren’t the type of movie moments you’re going to be able to quote long after seeing them. But I had a hell of a lot of fun watching it.

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