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Film / Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

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Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is the 2008 sequel to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

Picking up right where the last movie left off, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn), fresh from their trip to White Castle, have decided to follow Harold's neighbor Maria to Amsterdam. On the plane Kumar and the bong he brought on are mistaken for a terrorist and a bomb, and Kumar, along with his "North Korean accomplice" Harold, are thrown in Guantanamo Bay. The two escape and head to Texas, pursued by an overzealous Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (Rob Corddry). An old friend of theirs, Colton (Eric Winter), is getting married to Kumar's ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Danneel Ackles), and has invited President George W. Bush to the wedding. Harold wants to get a pardon; Kumar wants to ruin the wedding after wanting to reconnect with Vanessa as well as Colton betraying them.

Another sequel, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, came out in 2011.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Ambiguously Brown: Despite being played by Iranian-American actor Amir Talai, the character of Raza Syed is implied to be Pakistani.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Beecher. After being forced to do all of Fox's dirty work, he betrays him.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Ron Fox and Colton Graham.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Colton, Harold's old friend. Just when it seems as if he is going to have them pardoned, he sells the duo out to keep them from ruining his wedding.
  • Brick Joke/ Running Gag: The giant bag of weed from Kumar's fantasy.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: While in hiding, Harold and Kumar seek refuge in the house of a southern couple, Raymus and Raylene who sarcastically joke that they "keep their inbred son in the basement". Once they discovered this and the inbred son joke turned out to be true, Raymus and Raylene proudly confess that they're siblings and "they get it on". Since they're from the south, Harold and Kumar are not really surprised by this.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Neil after branding Tits Hemingway gets shot in the back with a double-barrel shotgun by the prostitutes' leader.
  • Burn the Witch!: It doesn't take much to accuse the two of being terrorists.
    • The KKK also chase after the two as well with torches due to their ideology that minorities are selfishly stealing the States away from the white race.
  • Call-Back: Neil Patrick Harris leaves Harold and Kumar in White Castle, claiming to be going "wherever God takes me." When they meet again in Escape From Guantanamo Bay, the following exchange occurs:
    Kumar: What are you doing here?
    • Another one is when NPH bungalow-ed their night in the brothel, and when Harold and Kumar take his car, Harold notes out they're stealing his car, with Kumar reminding them NPH stole Harold's car, which happened in the previous movie.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kumar's "Square Root of 3" poem and Neil Patrick Harris' cans of Mace.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Ron Fox pulls racial stereotypes when confronting the witnesses to Harold and Kumar's fleeing from G-Bay. First, he tries enticing a black witness with grape soda and then the duo's Jewish friends Rosenberg and Goldstein with merely a can of coins (with Fox making a gesture as if it's a big treasure) even though Goldstein estimates it as around $7.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Harold's parents have been American citizens for over 40 years, are both perfectly fluent in English and frankly find Fox's treatment of them insulting. The translator states their complaints are some sort of dialect he can't understand.
  • Creepy Basement: Harold and Kumar end up hiding in an Alabama couple's dark, dingy basement; earlier the couple had been joking about keeping their deformed incest baby locked up in there, which doesn't help: Turns out they weren't joking.
  • Darker and Edgier: Somewhat. The duo are mistaken for terrorists, sent to Guantanamo Bay, nearly sexually assaulted by the guards, watch (Neil Patrick Harris shot, though that last one is moot since he comes back from the dead) as well as get betrayed by a college friend who Kumar despises.
  • Dartboard of Hate: George W. Bush has one of these with a picture of Osama Bin Laden on it.
  • Death by Racism:
    • Ron Fox, an white-supremacist government agent falls out of an aeroplane without a parachute after 90 minutes of brutalizing and terrorizing ethnic minorities.
    • Also, a Klansman pursuing Harold and Kumar trips and his burning torch gets tangled in his robes.
  • The Deep South: Most of the action takes place here. Embrace for stereotypes.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The Guantanamo guard rationalizes that it’s not gay to get oral sex from the same gender.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Kumar trying explain that the "bomb" is actually a bong.
  • Disney Death: Neil Patrick Harris.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Big Bad jumps out of a plane without a parachute.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After having to put up with Ron's bigotry and attitude for the whole movie, Dr. Beecher finally snaps and turns on him during the climax.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: A guard at Guantanamo Bay attempts to force the characters to give oral sex, which is affectionately nicknamed a "cockmeat sandwich".
  • Drunk Driver: Neil Patrick Harris. Except with shrooms...and a bottle of whiskey.
  • Eagle Land: Escape From Guantanamo Bay seems to have been made to ridicule post-9/11 paranoia and xenophobia.
  • Evil Hero: Ron Fox is Chief of Homeland Security, meaning his job is to protect America from any perceived threat from an outside country. Unfortunately, he's so bigoted and neurotic that he perceives anyone who isn't white or Protestant as a potential threat and is completely unreasonable.
  • Fanservice: The whole sequence with Raza takes place at a "bottomless party" (consisting 99% of attractive women) for no particular reason. The Blu-ray cut have an option to set the party scene into a "topless party".
  • Fan Disservice: Did we mention Raza is hosting said party?
    Kumar: "It looks like Osama Bin Laden's beard!!!"
  • Flanderization: Harold gets a lot more uptight, Kumar became more of an idiot with a big drug problem. In a flashback to their earlier days in college, it's shown that their personalities used to be reversed.
  • Flowery Insults: Kumar calls a lightskinned black TSA agent "Matthew Perry" and the guard seriously takes offense to that.
    Kumar: Compared to me, you look like Matthew Perry.
    Security guard: Hey, who you calling 'Matthew Perry,' bitch!
    Kumar: I'm calling YOU 'Matthew Perry,' you Matthew Perry-looking bitch.
  • Free-Fall Fight: Agent Fox leaps out of an airplane without wearing a parachute just so he can shoot at the title heroes on the way down.
  • Genius Ditz: The unnamed DHS translator that Ron Fox uses to 'translate' to Harold's parents: he speaks fluent Korean and English, but he can't understand that Harold's parents are also fluent in English. He just says that "they're using some strange dialect [he's] never heard before".
    Ron: They're supposed to be in prison! That is where terrorists belong! These fuckers are going down. Dead or alive. [to the translator] Tell them that in their fake ching-chong language.
    Translator: [[in Korean]] Your son..?
    Harold's Dad: [snaps] Oh, shut up! You're an idiot!
    Translator:...I don't know what you're saying buddy, fuck you.
  • Greedy Jew: Subverted when Fox tries to interrogate Harold and Kumar’s Jewish neighbors Rosenberg and Goldstein by bribing them with coins to get them to speak. After he leaves, they take the coins.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Dr. Beecher states his intention to protect Harold and Kumar just as he slips on some marbles and accidentally ejects himself, Harold, Kumar, and Fox. Beecher is killed within seconds.
    • Though unknowingly, he takes Fox with him.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: After Harold backs over a fire hydrant with Raja's convertible that unleashes water that short-circuits their boombox, the neighborhood fellows converge on them with crowbars. Harold and Kumar scram, but it turns out they were planning to repair their car.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Colton turning Harold and Kumar over to Fox arguably cost him dearly, as the duo end up befriending the president and this enables them to clear their names, ruin his wedding, and he himself ended up ruining his reputation and losing everything. Things might've actually ended up going his way had he actually helped the duo like Harold suggested he would.
    • The KKK's Grand Dragon gets burned alive by his own flame after he ran down a hill and tripped while holding a torch.
  • Hollywood Tourette's: Strongly implied with the KKK's Grand Dragon.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Kumar: You get high and then you put other people who smoke weed in jail?
    George W. Bush: Duh.
    Kumar: That's so hypocritical.
    George W. Bush: Oh yeah? Let me ask you something, Kumar. You like giving handjobs?
    Kumar: No, sir.
    George W. Bush: You like getting handjobs?
    Kumar: Yeah.
    George W. Bush: Well, then that makes you a fucking hypocriticizer too.
    • Ron Fox claims to be a brazen patriot... and at one point in the film he literally wipes his ass with the Fifth Amendment.
  • Improvised Microgravity Maneuvering: When Harold and Kumar are in freefall, and Kumar has to "swim" to Harold.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Averted, for once, but for the worst possible reason: The plane passengers and agents recognize Harold as a Korean... unfortunately, they think he's a North Korean. Oops.
  • Interrogation by Vandalism: Played for laughs. The ludicrously racist Homeland Security Agent Ron Fox tries to use these to get witnesses to talk, wasting grape soda for a black orthodontist and spilling a bag of coins for the duo’s Jewish neighbors. The movie takes it to another level when the stereotypes turn out to be somewhat true: a black guy in the neighborhood watching the grape soda be spilled says in sarcastic shock, "Ask if he got any kool-aid!" and Goldstein starts grabbing the coins off the table after Fox leaves.
  • Jerkass: Ron Fox and Colton.
  • Lethally Stupid: Someone as dumb as Ron Fox should not have that kind of power.
  • Living MacGuffin: Colton Graham becomes this to Harold and Kumar as they need him to clear their names from Homeland Security. But then Colton turns them in to insure Kumar doesn't interfere with his and Vanessa's wedding.
  • Malaproper: Ron Fox.
    Look chief, I ain't gonna argue sublantics with you.
    They thought you guys were terrorizers!
  • Manchild: George W. Bush. And Kumar, as usual.
  • The Millstone: Kumar. Starting with bringing a bong on a plane, and not getting any better from there.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe example: agent Ron Fox tells Neil Patrick Harris that Starship Troopers is what inspired him to work for the government hunting terrorists; however, Starship Troopers is actually a satire of jingoistic fearmongers like Fox (the book isn't, but the movie is).
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: When questioned agent Fox picks up a picture of a little blonde white girl and questioning Beecher if he wants any harm to come to her; even so, he states that she is a Christian and white, which in his eyes is the only kind of people who matter.
  • Mistaken for Terrorist: What kicks off pretty much the whole plot.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Harold and Kumar beat up two Klansmen and steal their uniforms so they can sneak through a rally.
  • Not Quite Dead: Neil Patrick Harris's Sequel Hook. Wait for the credits to finish.
  • One Phone Call: Harold asks for this from Fox. Fox gets offended and goes on a tirade that a "Freedom-hating terrorist" would ask for this right.
  • Only Sane Man: NSA Vice Chairman Dr. John Beecher seems to be the only member of the Department of Homeland Security that's actually thinking sensibly.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Harold and Kumar accidentally land via parachute on the Crawford Ranch and meet real life, then-US President George W. Bush who is portrayed as President Buffoon but also reveals himself to be President Personable as well.
  • Pants-Free: The two seek assistance from a friend of theirs, who is hosting a bottomless party upon their arrival.
    Raza: I'm sick of all the hype over topless.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Harold only seeks moral advice and verbal therapy from the prostitutes rather than sex.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The sequel tops the previous film with one of the most racist characters in film history: Homeland Security official Ron Fox. He believes every stereotype about every race and religion there is, and will ignore and literally wipe his ass with the rights and freedoms all Americans are given unless you're a white Christian.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: George W. Bush(!) sees that the two aren't terrorists, and pardons them since they were wrongfully convicted.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: As usual, Harold throws these at Kumar but the one that really hits Kumar the hardest is where Harold compares him to Colton Graham and that Colton is the preferable choice.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The only reason Ron Fox's exceptional racism won't make you leave in disgust is just how earnest and over the top he is about it. That and he's as dumb as a fence post.
  • Same Story, Different Names: Kumar and George W. Bush - their relationship with their dads being similar. Of course they were both high when they were making the comparison.
  • Scary Black Man: Subverted. Harold and Kumar run off the road right by a group of tough looking black guys playing basketball. The guys take off as the black guys come towards them with tools...and a spare tire. Turns out they were just offering to help the guys with their car. One of them is an orthodontist.
  • The Starscream: Dr. Beecher to Ron Fox.
  • The Stinger: Reveals that Neil Patrick Harris is alive! The sequel "Christmas 3D" addresses how so.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Subverted; Kumar is reluctant to become a doctor as he thinks it's an Indian stereotype. He later decides that he wants to become a doctor regardless of whether or not it's stereotypical.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Airport security pulls Kumar aside for a random check.
    Airport security guard: It's our job as airport security to search for all possible weapons or illegal drugs.
    Kumar: So just because of the color of my skin, you assume that I have illegal drugs on me?
  • Sweet Home Alabama: The movie has its fair share of negative Deep South stereotypes, most notably the Ku Klux Klan, but there is also a sophisticated, sympathetic, and surprisingly tech-savvy Southern couple that helps Harold and Kumar hide from the government. The couple is still pretty stereotypical. They're an incestuous couple with a deformed son.
  • Take That!: "It'll be like EuroTrip, except it won't suck".
  • The Stool Pigeon: Colton sells the duo out to Fox so they won't interfere with his wedding to Vanessa. And earlier, the old lady in the plane who mistakes Kumar for a terrorist.
  • Three-Way Sex: Kumar fantasizes about this with his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa, and a giant bag of weed.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Kumar. The film goes out of its way to point this out.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Raymus and Raylene. Granted, they're also siblings.
  • Villain Ball: Fox could have tested the passengers on the plane for what drug effects they were going through to ensure it was marijuana and not poison gas like Harold said, but instead with only thin accusations and no evidence he just sends Harold and Kumar to the harshest prison ever enacted by the US government.
  • Villain Song: "Mr. Shadowmaker" in the KKK scene.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: There is a touching conversation about how the convictions of the father are passed on to the son, resulting in George W. Bush calling up his dad to tell him off.
  • What Could Have Been: In universe: The DVD shows several scenario with "Dude Change the movie" feature. The most different "Harold and Kumar Go to Amsterdam" which is initiated by Kumar not lighting a bong: it is a short film with the duo narrating while no one speaks. Harold finds Maria and Kumar ends up marrying a girl named Ellie whose boyfriend was murdered. The two end up staying in Amsterdam, while Harold and Maria leave
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's unknown what happened to the second prisoner at Guantanamo Bay; he could have been recaptured/shot down by guards (explaining why there weren't any guards to apprehend Harold, Kumar or his cellmate over the barbed fence) or tried to escape through another exit.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Harold and Kumar encounter prisoners at Guantanamo Bay who have been incarcerated for trying to give the US a taste of their own medicine.


Video Example(s):


George Bush [Personable]

Harold and Kumar enjoy a deep baking session with George Bush.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / OurPresidentsAreDifferent

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