Review of Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay – by Kim Nicolini

Stoner Dudes Explain Torture, Racism and American Hysteria – The Best Film of the Bush Era? – by Kim Nicolini:

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay may very well be the most revolutionary movie of the GW Bush Era. Yes indeed, the travels and travails of these stoner dudes are way more politically challenging than the never-ending barrage of documentaries that have been preaching to the choir for the past few years. Who needs to see real torture and real racism in the documentary format when we can experience it viscerally and be implicated in it via a lot of really funny body humor and pot jokes? Sure Harold and Kumar is ostensibly a comedy. I laughed uproariously during many scenes, but what makes this movie so utterly brilliant is how it uses its genre to make the audience incredibly uncomfortable and make us interrogate every phobia, ism and discriminatory practice that permeates every corner, every person, and every place in these here United States.

By using comedy to make us confront the universal hysteria and xenophobia that seems to be the spirit of America, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is one of the tensest movies I have ever seen.

…One of the scenes in the movie involves Harold and Kumar landing in GW Bush’s Texas home and subsequently getting high with the president who also becomes the movie’s Deus Ex Machina. This content has left a lot of critics confused and dumbfounded. How can this stoner movie about racism portray GW Bush as a pothead savior?

Haven’t seen the movie yet, but it doesn’t sound all that “revolutionary”. Why isn’t the movie titled, Harold and Kumar Escape the World Trade Center Towers on 9-11? Not funny? But Guantanamo Bay is? What if Harold and Kumar then traveled from the demolished towers through war-torn Iraq and stumbled into the bloodbaths unleashed by the US invasion? Hilarious! Not “tense”? What if they wound up smoking pot with Osama bin Laden instead of George Bush? OBL would be a riot especially when he started talking about how the infidels in the North and South towers deserved what they got. Barrels of laughs. Their “savior”! But tense? I haven’t seen the movie yet so maybe that OBL is in it. And maybe this scene is too: What if instead of smoking pot with George Bush, Harold and Kumar stumbled into an actually revolutionary future, where George Bush et al were being convicted of their Crimes Against Humanity in some official tribunal, and the tribunal was then taking up the complicity of Good American citizens in general? Now that could be funny, couldn’t it? Uncomfortably so. Tense even. And revolutionary.


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