THE DAY BEFORE I saw A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, I watched Tower Heist, which could generously be described as "insultingly stupid." Harold & Kumar 3D is at least as stupid, and yet somehow, it's a pleasant, ingratiating kind of stupid. Friendly stupid. Inviting stupid. Like a family of mongoloids bringing you warm apple cider. And while most of the time it aims for mild chuckles and hits (IN THE CROTCH!), every once in a while, there's a gag so audaciously dumb that it comes all the way back around to being brilliant again.
AVH&KXMas3D (do you like my acronym? I just invented it.) begins with Harold (John Cho), now some kind of fancy banker, in his office in Manhattan with his assistant Bobby Lee, who's just picked up a 3D TV as a gift for Harold's parents. Lee describes all of the TV's relevant specs while gesturing at the camera, in a self-parodying bit of product placement. As we learned with Jackass 3D, somehow 3D is a more effective gimmick when the movie itself uses it to make fun of what a gimmick it is. So begins a sequence in which Lee goes down Platoon-style in a hail of eggs thrown by Wall Street protesters downstairs (it's impressive they got that in the movie when you consider Occupy Wall Street only started in September), the first of about five 3D sequences. A later one depicts a dream scene in which Harold's new father-in-law, Danny Trejo, is so happy with the Christmas tree Harold has brought home that he shatters a tree ornament with a powerful spurt of ejaculate. Yes, dudes, Danny Trejo jizzes on a Christmas tree. Righteous.
A few of the other memorable moments include a claymation sequence following H&K's accidental ingestion of hallucinogens, a psychedelic Busby Berkeley song-and-dance number starring Neil Patrick Harris, and a couple of penis gags I probably could've done without. Ha, penis. Gag. The film leans a little too heavily on the gore and the tits sometimes (ha, stop leaning on my tits, bro), and seriously, we get it already, you like drugs (by far the least successful joke is a running gag about a baby that loves drugs). But throughout, there's a breezy nonchalance that allows you to forgive the jokes that aren't home runs (roughly half of 'em). You don't mind the lulls because there isn't that sense of manic neediness you get with something like Dinner for Schmucks.
Look, I'm not going to convince you that AVH&KXMas3D is must-see comedy, nor would I try to, but it does a decent job balancing half-assed vulgar wordplay with a gleefully outlandish plot. It's probably best enjoyed in 25-minute chunks on cable, but if you're stoned with nothing to do and looking for a giggle, you'll find it. Plus, it's got Patton Oswalt and Brett Gelman and Danny Trejo in a Christmas sweater, and I would argue any of those three things are added value to any movie. And that's to say nothing of "Wafflebot," the finest stoner-comedy sidekick since the robot falcon in Your Highness. What can I say, I'm a sucker for robot sidekicks.