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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (review)

Call it Dude, Where’s My Burger. If you’ve never had a White Castle hamburger — or a sackful, which is the quantity in which the tiny delicacies are typically consumed — well, know that those little squares of junky, stomach-ache-inducing, wonderful greasy goodness are well worth enshrining in the annals of Hollywood, even if this is just one giant commercial for the chain. So I can buy a stoner odyssey to find one of the few-and-far-between fast-food joints, and the fact that it comes from the folks who brought us the surprisingly charming Dude, Where’s My Car gave me hope. Alas… Oh, the dudes are likeable enough: John Cho’s Harold is an uptight junior accountant; the unaffectedly charismatic Kal Penn’s Kumar is avoiding all adult responsibility; together they have an ingratiating Odd Couple appeal. But their all-night quest to find some belly bombers — as White Castle burgers are known to the initiated — in the wilds of New Jersey starts out gross, with one of the most revolting instances of toilet humor in the increasingly disgusting trend, and descends into the utterly moronic. The idiocy is at least innovative — here are some all-new ways of expressing adolescent homophobia and sexually insecurity. But the few genuine laughs are barely enough to fill one of those soft, mushy, square little buns.

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MPAA: rated R for strong language, sexual content, drug use and some crude humor

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
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