Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle directed by Danny Leiner, written by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, produced by Nathan Kahane and Greg Shapiro, with John Cho and Kal Penn. 88 minutes. A Kingsgate/Senator International production. Opens Friday (July 30). For venues and times, see Movies, page 90. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Harold and Humar go to White Castle is great and terrible. It's a smart, gross, funny buddy flick; at the same time, it's a truly sinister development in cinematic history. It knocks down long-standing Hollywood racial ratios by starring two actual Asian guys who attack cultural stereotypes and diarrhea alike with deadly aim and unfailing wit. Then it clings frantically to frat movies' casual contempt for women and homosexuals. It's genuinely funny - unabashed, raunchy, pee-your-pants funny - and, at the same time, it's a feature-length ad for a hamburger chain.
The premise: Harold (John Cho), a put-upon investment banker, and Kumar (Kal Penn), a reluctant pre-med applicant, get stoned and crave White Castle hamburgers. They embark on a road trip to find some, and funny things happen. Finally, they consume the hamburgers, and their lives are transformed.
This is a problem, though not a massive one, for us - yet. As far as I know, there aren't any White Castle restaurants in Canada, so we can pretend it's a made-up American brand like Red Apple cigarettes and watch away with impunity.
But I worry about our neighbours to the south delivering themselves up at $13 a head to some soulless ad exec who wants to get them to glue their arteries shut with beef tallow.
I've grudgingly put up with cola and cars branding the corners of my entertainment for years, but 90 minutes of insistent burger hawking, no matter how cleverly packaged, is unacceptable. Branded buddies