Time has rolled merrily along since the second Harold & Kumar movie and the two characters have gone their separate ways. Harold (John Cho) has a great job, a lovely wife (Paula Garces, reprising her role from the first two movies) and generally a life of comfort and security that always seemed to elude him while he spent his time getting high. Kumar (Kal Penn) hasn't really gone up in the world and is, funnily enough, still mostly interested in getting high. Fate brings the two together just in time to put Christmas in jeopardy and they spend the movie trying to put things right. If Harold doesn't manage to sort out a Christmas tree that will please his father-in-law then he will be in big trouble. Especially when that father-in-law is played by Danny Trejo.
With Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg back on the writing duties it's surprising to find that this Harold & Kumar movie feels the least like an actual Harold & Kumar movie. Perhaps that's due to the Christmassy nature of the whole thing or perhaps it's simply because our duo have, inevitably, grown up. Just a little bit.
Regardless of the reason, we get quite a slightly movie this time around. The one thing that stays constant throughout all three movies is just how much fun the supporting players are. Danny Trejo in a Christmas sweater, Patton Oswalt as a drug-dealing Santa, Neil Patrick Harris as "Neil Patrick Harris", Eddie Kaye Thomas and David Krumholtz as bickering friends, Thomas Lennon as the main scene-stealer this time around, Richard Riehle as another Santa Claus and Elias Koteas as a violent gangster - there's plenty to enjoy.
Director Todd Strauss-Schulson doesn't do too badly in his role, and the direction and script both make some of their best little gags out of the whole 3D razzle dazzle, but you can't help feeling that this should really be the last hurrah for Harold & Kumar. The quality and quantity of the comedy has dipped since that enjoyable first outing but they've managed to stay the course through a decent enough comic trilogy.