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Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Dude, Where's My Burger?

This road trip buddy movie about two guys in search of the perfect hamburger sounds like the sort of summertime stupidity you see only when everything else is sold out and someone's pointing a gun at your head. In the cosmic scheme of things, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle comes pretty close to that. However, given its ability to dumbfound audiences one moment by the sheer insanity of its unpredictable storyline, while eliciting peals of laughter the next, it just may well achieve "guilty pleasure" status.

Its take-no-prisoners attack on racial stereotypes is as refreshing as it is hilarious. Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) are roommates so fresh out of college that they still crash Ivy League parties for weekend excitement. Both brilliant in their own ways, they have difficulty connecting with the real world, whether it's Harold expressing interest in a pretty neighbor down the hall (Paula Garces) or Kumar trying to get into medical school.

One night after a heavy bout of smoking pot, the duo decide that regular takeout won't satisfy their munchies; only the best will do. A TV commercial for White Castle (a Midwest and Eastern burger chain) lures them off the couch and into Harold's car. What follows is an unforgettable (as well as forgettable) night of general mayhem, including run-ins with figures of authority, crossed paths with ne'er-do-wells (a hilarious Neil Patrick Harris cameo), close encounters with life-threatening animals, confrontations with over-the-top bullies, and scrapes with the law.

Everything is over the top; subtlety is nonexistent. Although Harold and Kumar learn about such lofty things as the power of friendship and realizing their inner potential, the potty humor and sexual paranoia tarnish the film's laudable social commentary.