Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay: Unrated Two-Disc Special Edition (Alliance, 2008) D: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, w/ John Cho, Kal Penn. Rating: NNNN; DVD package: NNNN
While a lot of unrated editions don't add any more to the stew than a dash of tittie and a drop of gore, H&K Escape crams in enough extra comic goodness to jack its rating one point up from the three Ns I gave it on theatrical release; that's from "good" to "near classic."
Much of the comedy involves titties, shit, weed, racism, weird hillbillies and mystic horndog Neil Patrick Harris - all the good stuff from the first movie, only more and better.
Add in the interactive feature, Dude, Change The Movie, and it gets better still. At various points, a click of the remote lets you make choices for the characters. One option gives you an entirely different, much shorter movie. Another lets you select topless or bottomless for everyone at the party. They're all funny, and they all drop you back into the story when they're done.
Not long ago, I looked at a drama (which shall remain nameless) with the same kind of choice-point gimmick. There, it wiped out rhythm and structure and thus killed the movie. Here, it works beautifully because it fits easily into Escape's ramshackle structure. Harold and Kumar set out for Amsterdam, get mistaken for terrorists and spend the rest of the movie on the run. The movie's rhythms exist within the scenes, rather than between them.
Writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg direct with a sharp sense of comic timing. John Cho (Harold) and Kal Penn (Kumar) are more comically in sync than they were in H&K Go To White Castle, and they're surrounded by a great supporting cast, notably Rob Corddry as the psycho buffoon from Homeland Security, the gleefully demented Missi Pyle as a farmer's wife and James Adomian as George W. Bush.
The generous extras offer lots of humour and insight.
EXTRAS Disc one: Directors and stars commentary, directors and actor Adomian and real Harold Lee commentary, Dude Change The Movie interactive feature. Widescreen. English, French audio and subtitles. Disc two: Making-of doc, two deleted scenes, outtakes, Bush PSA announcement. Widescreen. English, Spanish subtitles.