Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle


Directed by: Danny Leiner
Written by:Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, Malin Akerman, Neil Patrick Harris, Ethan Embry
Released: September 23, 2004
Grade: B

Sometimes a film is so bad that it is actually is good.  The film I speak of is Dude, Where’s My Car? with Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott.  I trashed it back in 2001 but the film has since developed into a cult favourite.  I’ve caught it a few times on television since its release and even I find myself chuckling at how stupid it is.  It’s proof that first appearances can sometimes be deceiving.

Now comes the follow up film from director Danny Leiner with an equally memorable title, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle.  Not sure if they paid for the rights but White Castle is a fast-food chain in America which is famous for its miniature burgers.  From this point, the title should tell you all you need to know.

Harold and Kumar are just two guys looking to get high.  Harold (Cho) has just had a truckload of weekend work dumped on him by his boss and Kumar (Penn) has just deliberately messed up a college interview so he can continue his life as a freeloading bum.  It’s Friday night so Harold and Kumar do what will best kick start their weekend – they get high.  Of course this now leaves them with the munchies and after seeing a television advertisement for White Castle, they set off on a night time journey across New Jersey in search of the famous franchise.

With similarities to films like Dude and the two Bill & Ted films, I see Harold & Kumar developing its own cult following.  It won’t be a box-office sensation but it’ll be a regular weekly renter in video stores for many years to come.  The jokes are strongest early in the film.  Many of them are borrowed from other movies but unheralded actors John Cho and Kal Penn have the right personalities and timings to pull it off.  Oh, and just wait till you see the great cameo from Neil Patrick Harris (aka Doogie Howser).

Like Harold and Kumar, the film gets a little too crazy for its own good towards the end.  The one-liners dried up and instead we were left with the duo riding through a forest on the back of a cheetah.  Ah, can’t be too critical though.  The film’s trailer promotes it as from the director of Dude, Where’s My Car? and starring the Asian guy from American Pie and the Indian guy from Van Wilder.  Even if you haven’t seen the film, you get a pretty good indication of what is in store.