|Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jon Hurwitz
|Produced by||Jon Hurwitz
|Written by||Jon Hurwitz
Neil Patrick Harris
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Editing by||Jeff Freeman|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
New Line Cinema
|Release date(s)||April 25, 2008|
|Running time||Theatrical cut
|Preceded by||Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle|
|Followed by||A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas|
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is the 2008 comedy film sequel to 2004's Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles as the titular stoner duo, along with Paula Garcés as Harold's love interest, Maria. Neil Patrick Harris also returns as a satirical version of himself.
New additions to the cast are comedian Jon Reep and former Daily Show correspondents Rob Corddry and Ed Helms. Other cast members include David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jack Conley, Roger Bart, Danneel Harris, Eric Winter, Adam Herschman, and Richard Christy.
The film was released on April 25, 2008 by Warner Bros. The film was the first New Line Cinema title to be distributed by Warner Bros. since New Line Cinema became a division of Warner Bros. The film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc on July 29, 2008.
Immediately following the events of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold Lee and Kumar Patel fly to Amsterdam so Harold can pursue a budding romance with his neighbor, Maria. During the flight an old woman mistakes Kumar for a terrorist, his bong is mistaken for a bomb, and air marshals detain the duo. Harold and Kumar get into a fight and the plane returns to Washington D.C. where Ron Fox, the neurotic and racist Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, sends them to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. They quickly escape and travel to Florida with the help of Cuban refugees. Trying to get to Texas to see Harold's old friend who may be able to help them out of the jam, they get picked up by Neil Patrick Harris and eventually travel throughout the entire Southern United States.
Harris, under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms, still successfully manages to bluff the pair past Fox's security checkpoint. After stopping at a brothel, Harris causes a situation and as they flee, he is shot in the back by the owner and left for dead. The pair are forced to travel alone. As they are driving, they decide to check Neil's bag to find some contact details for his parents. All they find is "A jar, with hair... in it", "like 12 cans of mace," and a "scary mask" which is in fact the mask of Slipknot's Chris Fehn. After reaching Texas, Harold's friend Colton (whose father is a Justice Department official) promises to help. After seeing Kumar reconnecting with his old girlfriend and Colton's fiance, Vanessa, he has second thoughts and turns the pair into Homeland Security.
Trapped aboard an airplane, the two manage to escape and Fox is killed in the process. After parachuting through President George W. Bush's home in Texas, the three bond over marijuana laced with cocaine. The President offers to help and the Secret Service announces their arrival at the wedding. Colton attacks Kumar for breaking up his wedding, but Harold punches him and Kumar reconnects with Vanessa.
The three head to Amsterdam where Harold meets up with Maria. After the credits, it is shown that Neil Patrick Harris survived his gunshot wounds.
|Harold and Kumar Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack by Various Artists|
|Released||March 23, 2008
(see #Release history)
|Label||New Line Records/Def Jam|
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay: Original Soundtrack was released on April 15, 2008. It contains 13 songs used in the film.
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay cost $12 million to make. The filming of Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay began in the third week of January 2007 in Shreveport, Louisiana, and finished in March. 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.
In October 2007, a "coming soon" poster featuring Neil Patrick Harris began circulating on the Internet. Showing Harris astride a unicorn, the advertisement poses the question "What would NPH do?"
The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 54% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 87 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." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 57 out of 100, based on 27 reviews. Daily Variety declared Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay "Animal House meets Dr. Strangelove" and called it "one of the ballsiest comedies to come out of Hollywood in a long time." The Guardian (which rated the movie 7 out of 10) noted that despite having a "total nonsense" story, the screening of Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay 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."
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." The New York Daily News said that "the movie forgets to stay true to their characters or to itself." 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." 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.
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. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay performed much better at the box office than Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle which grossed $23.9 million worldwide after opening at #7 in the United States and Canada with $5.4 million. 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.
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.
Both Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg have announced plans to write and direct a third Harold and Kumar movie, with Greg Shapiro returning as the producer, and Kal Penn and John Cho expected to return in their titular roles. Danneel Harris is rumored to be reprising her role of Vanessa. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is set to be released on November 5, 2010. It is unclear whether Penn's decision to take a job at the White House will affect the production of the movie.
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is the 2008 film sequel to the 2004 film, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles as the eponymous stoner duo, along with Paula Garcés as Harold's love interest, Maria.