Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
Stoner social satire is rude, crude, and funny.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that plenty of teens will want to see this marijuana-centric sequel, which goes out of its way to push buttons -- and that the filmmakers don't really worry about when to say when. Expect constant marijuana use, strong language (including "f--k," "p---y," and many more), broadly comic violence, and sexual content -- including both male and female nudity (topless and bottomless). That said, behind all the joking and the toking, there are some nice messages about real friendship, as well as some interesting observations about the racial and ethnic profiling that's taken place since 9-11 and the dangers of excessive law enforcement in the name of safety.
- Families can talk about the movie's messages about drugs and drug use. Do you think the movie is an accurate depiction of social attitudes about marijuana? Why or why not? Does it address any of the consequences of drug use? As a comedy, is it expected to? Families can also discuss the racial and ethnic profiling that Harold and Kumar are subjected to. Do you think that happens in everyday life? How does the media undermine and/or reinforce those kinds of assumptions and stereotypes?
The good stuff
Positive messages: Extensive discussion of racism, stereotypes, and government policy; a characteer literally uses the Bill of Rights as toilet paper. Some government officials are seen as idiotic, petty fascists (with counterpoint from smarter, more reasonable government officials). Harold and Kumar (and their parents) are subjected to racist insults. Harold and Kumar stumble across a Ku Klux Klan meeting. A government agent taunts ethnic and religious groups with stereotypical objects of desire (grape soda for an African-American character; a bag of small change for two Jewish characters) in an effort to get them to talk; this, however, doesn't work and is depicted as the act of an idiot. From one woman's point of view, Kumar is seen in the beard and robes of a stereotypical Islamic fundamentalist (which, by turn, implies that she believes he's a terrorist). An actor depicting the president is seen drinking and doing drugs. A fair amount of toilet humor. On the plus side, the film's cast is diverse, and Harold and Kumar have a strong friendship.
What to watch for
Violence: Plenty, but mostly intended for comic effect. Fatal electrocution by an electric fence; characters are held at gunpoint; fistfights and scuffles (including knees to the groin); one supporting character is shot with a shotgun, twice; a deer is shot, with blood spatter and a knife blow to finish the job; a prostitute is literally branded. Mace is used.
Sexy stuff: Topless and bottomless nudity, both rear and front, and both male and female; same-sex make-out sessions for comedic effect; prisoners are forced to provide guards with oral sex; characters visit a brothel; simulated masturbation and ejaculation; references to incest; discussion of sexual techniques and positions; characters kiss; fantasy sequence includes visions of a "threesome" between a man, a woman, and a huge anthropomorphic (and anatomically correct) bag of marijuana.
Language: Constant, inventive vulgar language, including "f--k," "motherf---er," "s--t," "dick," "p---y," "a--holes," "douchebag," "boner," "whore," "c--k," and several racial epithets (both in dialogue and soundtrack lyrics).
Consumerism: A few brands are mentioned -- TiVo, Nokia, Coors Light, Mustang, Zoloft.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Constant references to "getting high" and "smoking weed," with extensive on-screen marijuana use. Also lots of discussion of marijuana paraphernalia and the war on drugs. One character's marijuana is laced with cocaine; a character takes psychedelic mushrooms while driving. Characters also drink beer and hard liquor (one drinks while driving). One character disapproves of another's marijuana use to counter stress, suggesting Zoloft as an alternative.