[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: 'Avoid like the plague'- Harold & Kumar go to White Castle

Sunday, March 13, 2005

'Avoid like the plague'- Harold & Kumar go to White Castle

The only reason why I bothered watching this film was because it's the first Hollywood movie of this category to feature two Asian leads(or so i'm told); A Korean and Indian character. And no I didn't pay to see it in the cinema, I bought a counterfeit DVD from China for 2 euro on my usual impulse buying runs and it's been sitting around for months.

So here we are, another stab at the American Pie genre featuring the usual attire of sex, drugs and general misdemeanor. But one big difference with this is, other than the two Asian leads is that 'White Castle' burgers actually exists, since 1921 I believe. So before you say anything, this is a blatant commercially driven movie to promote the White Castle franchise.

To be brief, the story is about two roomates who get the munchies to go to White Castle and have wacky adventures along the way. If this is a film that seeks to break the stereotyped image of Asians in the US it falls really short: Harold (Korean) is a banker, obviously good at math. While Kumar studies to become a doctor.. So ok that's established. Then there's the racism as perpertrated by White punks and redneck cops. I'm sure the filmmaker was just out to poke fun but I found it deeply disturbing and only seeks to imbed itself into American culture even more: "Fuck you Apu- thank you come again!" We've all heard of the term 'nigga' as applied to black people, would 'chink' or 'paki' be applied to Asians sooner or later?

The bloody film wasn't even funny, it even wasn't 'dumb' funny. It plays on overused elements already seen on American Pie, Road Trip and Dude where's my Car and other crap. I would seriously doubt the film's effectiveness in promoting racial harmony- Hollywood will remain biased towards Asians. But then again the Asian film industry is booming anyway, who needs Hollywood for a little Asian screen time right? Back to the film, I guess if you don't take it seriously and just want a bit of harmless laughter then this'll whet your appetite (if you really need to). I'll be interested to see how well it's rated here. But seeing how well it was recieved in the US (unsurprisingly) it scored as a major publicity stunt for White Castle.
(note: It's called Harold & Kumar get the munchies in Europe)