Classic Review: Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle” which originally appeared here.

Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) are best friends and roommates who share a common love for marijuana. On a Friday night after smoking marijuana, the duo get a case of the munchies and decide to head to White Castle. After learning that the nearest White Castle has been closed down, the duo set out on a trip to a White Castle that is not too far out. However, this becomes complicated as they run into one incident after another.

This film was original for its time in that it was one of the first films to star two minorities, an Asian and an Indian. It was a stoner comedy but it ended up being much more as it took the time to comment on race and the stereotypes associated with them. The plot here was rather simple with a pair of stoner friends, Harold Lee (Cho) and Kumar Patel (Penn), getting a case of the munchies and deciding to head to White Castle but there was much more going on here as the pair got sidetracked by a series of incidents. Some of these were better than others but some were great as well including without giving too much away, a college party, a visit with a man named Freakshow (Christopher Meloni), and an encounter with Neil Patrick Harris (which was more than just a glorified cameo). These were some of the film’s best moments and were hilarious. But the most hilarious stuff are just the scenes with Harold and Kumar themselves. Cho and Penn’s chemistry was infectious and captivating. I found Harold and Kumar’s relationship very relatable and engaging and you can’t help but to overlook some of the film’s shortcomings. They were both the best part of the film as they the whole film together nicely. I thought the pacing was good as the plot flowed nicely never staying in one place too often. Even after 12 years, the film is a little dated but it wasn’t too bad. The special effects were bad too but maybe that was intentional. Overall, this is a classic stoner comedy lead by great performances by Cho and Penn.

Score: 7.5/10

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