Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay is a 2008 stoner film, the second film in the Harold & Kumar series. The film is written, produced and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. The story continues where Go to White Castle leaves off, with Harold Lee and Kumar Patel flying to Amsterdam. They are then imprisoned and end up on a series of comical misadventures when they escape prison. The film stars John Cho and Kal Penn as Harold Lee and Kumar Patel. The film also stars Paula Garcés, Neil Patrick Harris, Jon Reep, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, David Krumholtz, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jack Conley, Roger Bart, Danneel Harris, Eric Winter, Adam Herschman and Richard Christy. The film was released on April 25, 2008 by Warner Bros.; this film was the first New Line Cinema title to be distributed by Warner Bros. since New Line Cinema became a division of Warner Bros. The film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc on July 29, 2008.
Immediately following the events of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) set off on a Boeing 767 flight to Amsterdam so Harold can pursue a budding romance with his neighbor, Maria (Paula Garcés). Before they board their plane, the pair run into one of Harold's old college buddies, Colton (Eric Winter), and Kumar's ex-girlfriend, Vanessa (Danneel Harris). The two are engaged to be married soon, which makes Kumar question whether he stills loves her.
In flight, Kumar introduces Harold his own invention of a "smokeless bong." Although impressed, Harold asked Kumar to put the bong away and wait until they arrive at Amsterdam, but Kumar ignores his advice and tries to smoke marijuana in his own bong anyway during flight. However, as he does so, an old woman accuses him of being a terrorist, believing that he's lighting up an explosive bomb. After series of confusion between the words "bomb" and "bong" and the escalation of panic among passengers, the undercover air marshals detain the duo, then the plane returns to Washington D.C. where Ron Fox (Rob Corddry), the neurotic and racist Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, sends them to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, believing them to be agents of a joint Al-Qaeda and North Korean conspiracy.
Once there, Harold and Kumar were forced to perform a "cockmeat sandwich" on Big Bob (Randal Reeder), but they quickly escape after the "real" terrorists purposely bites the penis of another guard, Lieutenant Derek Davis (Jason Konopisos). The duo managed to take advantage of them, then travel to Florida with the help of Cuban refugees, who are also seeking freedom. As soon as they arrive at Miami, they met Raza Syed (Amir Talai), who is hosting the Bottomless Party. After they spent the night, Raza lends them a Ford Mustang, since they're trying to get to Texas to see if Colton may be able to help them, due to his connections to the White House.
Meanwhile, Fox discovered that Harold and Kumar had escaped from Guantanamo Bay. He then initiated a manhunt by interrogating witnesses one by one, looking for evidence that will take them to the duo. However, Dr. Beecher (Roger Bart), Fox's counterpart, tries to object that idea, citing the fact they lack affiliations with anti-American terrorist groups as they were born and raised in New Jersey. Fox disagrees with Beecher's idea as his means for protection of American people.
During the car ride, Kumar daydreams about meeting Vanessa at a library, causing them to get lost in Birmingham, Alabama. Unknown to the duo, they end up in a basketball game, played by African-Americans. As Harold attempts to turn the car around, he accidentally backs into the fire hydrant, causing the vehicle to stall and the game to end abruptly. By the time the basketball players approach them, the duo flee by foot, mistaking them as attackers, although they are actually going to repair the vehicle. As they enter the woods, they meet a friendly hunter after he shot a deer that they petted. He then invited them to stay with him and his wife at their well-kept trailer, even sharing some weed. When someone knocks at the door, the duo thinks that it was the Homeland Security trying to hunt them, prompting them to hide in the basement, only to leave after they discover the couple's inbred cycloptic son. After they left, they encountered the Ku Klux Klan Rally. They hide until some members approach with a beer keg. After knocking out the two members and putting on their robes, they mingle until the other two return, declaring them to be "Mexicans".
The Klansmen chase Harold and Kumar until their leader accidentally sets himself on fire. Later, they were picked up by Neil Patrick Harris, who then took them to Texas. By the time they arrive at the state border, Harold and Kumar hid themselves so that they won't be discovered by Fox. Harris went under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms, seeing himself on a unicorn, and successfully manages to smuggle the pair past one of Fox's security checkpoint, then they stop at a brothel. Once there, Harris leaves with a big breasted prostitute Tits Hemmingway (Echo Valley), while Harold and Kumar separate and talk about their friendship issues with their girls. Suddenly, Harris causes a situation by branding his woman. As they flee, Harris is shot in the back. While grieving, Harold and Kumar look through Harris' possessions, finding Chris Fehn's mask, a jar of human hair, and a dozen mace cans.
After they left NPH and arrived at Vanessa's place, Colton promises to help the duo out of their predicament, but after seeing Kumar reconnecting with Vanessa, he has second thoughts and turns the pair over to Homeland Security.
While they're transported back to Guantanamo Bay, Harold and Kumar forgive each other about the mishaps they caused back on an Amsterdam flight earlier. The two manage to escape by incapacitate the guards. Seeing this, Fox catches them, but Beecher counteracts Fox. Before he can tie up Fox, he accidentally opens the door, sucking everyone out of the plane in process. Luckily for the duo, they hug each other and deploy their parachute, but they crash-landed on President George W. Bush's Texas home. After the crash-landing, the three bond while smoking marijuana. The President then promises to pardon Harold and Kumar, and help them with whatever they need, which they ask one thing of him.
Harold and Kumar arrive at Colton and Vanessa's wedding escorted by the Secret Service. Colton attacks Kumar for breaking up his wedding, but Harold punches him, as Kumar reconnects with Vanessa with his mathematical reasoning, the same poem they used when they first met.
The three head to Amsterdam where Harold meets up with Maria. After they meet up with Maria, they tour around the city. In a post-credits scene, it is shown that Neil Patrick Harris survived his gunshot wounds.
- John Cho as Harold Lee
- Kal Penn as Kumar Patel
- Danneel Harris as Vanessa Fanning
- Rob Corddry as Ron Fox
- Roger Bart as Dr. John Beecher
- Eric Winter as Colton Graham
- Neil Patrick Harris as Neil Patrick Harris
- Paula Garcés as Maria.
- Amir Talai as Raza Syed
- David Krumholtz as Goldstein
- Eddie Kaye Thomas as Rosenberg
- Christopher Meloni as Grand Wizard
- Richard Christy as Kenny
- Clyde Kusatsu as Mr. Lee
- Beverly D'Angelo as Sally
- Jon Reep as Raymus
- Ed Helms as Interpreter
- Adam Herschman as Archie
- Jack Conley as Deputy Frye
- Tamara Feldman as Chloe
- Ava Santana as Tammi
- Randal Reeder as Big Bob
- James Adomian as George W. Bush
- Frank Lee as Leon Chester
- Echo Valley as Tits Hemmingway
- Missi Pyle as Raylene
- Jason Konopisos as Lt. Derek Davis
- Richard Christy as a Ku Klux Klansman
- This film was in reference to the post 9/11 environment.
- The outfits of Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp were identical to those worn by actual inmates and military guards.
- In reality, Guantanamo Bay inmates were tortured by what's called enhanced interrogation. Such methods include, but not limited to: uncomfortable forced positions, beatings, sleep deprivations, sensory deprivations, humiliations, toilet deprivations, waterboarding, force feeding, loud background noise, etc. However, in the film, the inmates were forced to suck a penis of a guard.
- During the security checkpoint scene, it was implied that an old woman was watching Kumar arguing with the TSA agent over random security checks. That is why she was suspicious about Kumar's actions during a flight to Amsterdam, even calling him a terrorist when he tries to light up his homemade bong.
- This film was a second part of the Harold & Kumar series, since it starts off after they ate at White Castle and Maria flying off to Amsterdam.
- When Fox asked, "Who thought that after 9/11, our national security was a joke, huh?" this film was loosely based on American Airlines flight 63, a shoe bombing attempt in 2001 (also involving a 767), as well as the 2006 transatlantic bombing plot involving bottles used for drinks, both of which happened after 9/11.
- The quote "North Korea and Al-Qaeda working together" signified North Korea's terrorist regime against America, similarly to Al-Qaeda's idea. Both leaders Kim Jong-il and Osama Bin Laden have been planning attacks on America throughout their leadership, although they're both replaced by Kim Jong-un and Ayman al-Zawahiri respectively. Additionally, North Korea was listed as the Axis of Evil (along with Iran and Iraq, both of whom that harbors Al-Qaeda) during Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address.