Much of Cabin’s delight stems from the many intricate reveals that comprise the narrative’s structure, but the film is far from gimmicky or contrived, relying on the audience’s fluency in the language of horror films to simultaneously revel in and interrogate the established pleasures of the genre.
The action of Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay picks up mere minutes after the end of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, but in that brief period of time all of the anarchic energy seems to have seeped out of the franchise.
This shot announces, “Bored yet? You should be, for crying out loud!” The camera itself is bored. How can a camera even be bored, or express boredom? This movement neither matches the action (by focusing on who is speaking) nor provides a reaction shot for the party being spoken to.
There’s something I should clarify right away. Though I had not, to my secret shame, seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo until last week, I had seen the first four reels, or, more specifically, the upper-right quadrant of those reels and little more, approximately two-dozen times.
Harold & Kumar features likable minority protagonists with fully developed, stereotype-defying, well rounded personalities and is also an enormously silly film, ultimately a series of juvenile set pieces selected for their ability to keep the audience giggling through sheer quantity over originality.