"I have to stay here and smoke this weed, otherwise I won't get high"
Harold & Kumar have come a long way since they made their way to a White Castle way back in 2004. The H&K movies are known for their extreme comedy and their marijuana jokes. This special Christmas installment doesn't lack any of those, but it falls short of the previous 2 installments.
The film has a pretty simple plot, Harold has his in-laws over and his father-in-law wants the perfect Christmas tree. Harold and Kumar haven't seen much of each other since Harold got married and Kumar is living on his own. His girlfriend, Vanessa, shows up to tell him she's pregnant, shortly after that he has a packaged delivered to him that is supposed to go to Harold. Kumar makes a trip to Harold's and they open the box to discover a giant "joint", somehow the joint falls in the "perfect" tree and burns down. And so begins the journey of Harold & Kumar trying to find a replacement tree before his wife & father-in-law return from midnight mass.
The plot is always pretty simple in these movies but for whatever reason this film just didn't feel like a H&K movie. There's a running gag in the movie of a baby getting high on pretty much every drug out there (marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, etc.) which was pretty funny, but honestly had run its course by the end of the film. It felt to me that the drug humor was incredibly toned down and the "adult" humor was toned up. This is a very "adult" Christmas movie. There's even a part in the movie that reflects the scene in "A Christmas Story" where the little boy gets his tongue stuck to a pole, but it wasn't a tongue in this film.
Finally I felt that this movie didn't need to be made in 3D at all. They used the 3D far too much and way to obviously. There were quite a few times in the movie when something was thrown at the screen and it would slow down in bullet time. It was so incredibly unneeded and stupid. I have a feeling that in 10 years time we'll be looking at this movie like we looked at the 80s 3D movies back in the 90s and think the movies were simply made to cash in on 3D. This film could have worked just fine without the 3D.
Overall I enjoyed the film, but I felt that it lacked something that the other 2 films had. Would I include this in my annual Christmas viewing? I don't think so, but a 2nd viewing could change all of that.