John Cho is a Berkeley-educated former English teacher, and so the impulse to ask him to dissect the way satire works in the Harold and Kumar movies was irresistible. In keeping with his training and experience, he gave an answer that was both erudite and funny. The same was true when he described the homage to A CHRISTMAS STORY in which Cho’s character, Harold, has a part of his anatomy, not his tongue, freeze to a metal pole. We went on to talk about taking on the iconic role of Mr. Sulu from George Takei in the JJ Abrams reboot of the Star Trek franchise, and finished with his plans to work in his native Korea and how a dinner at the White House may have helped that along.
The film shows how our eponymous heroes learn that friendship is the greatest gift of all, that and not being slaughtered by the Ukranian mob. Cho and Kal Penn once again play Harold Lee and Kumar Patel in this, their third theatrical, and fourth in total, adventure that catches up with them six years after escaping from Guantanamo. Harold has found success, a happy marriage, and a few stray protesters as an investment banker, Kumar is still living in their old apartment having failed a drug test at a critical moment. Not only is this in 3-D, giving the wafting smoke of the ubiquitous doobies all the more oomph, but this was such a career defining role for Penn gave up his White House job in order to reprise his role as Kumar Patel. Cho’s previous work includes a turn as a human torch in ST JOHN OF LAS VEGAS, a popularizer of the term MILF in the American Pie series, and taking on the ci-mentined role of Hikaru Sulu in J.J. Abrams rebooted Star Trek franchise.