The primary audio track on this disc is an English language Dolby Digital EX 5.1 Surround Sound mix and it gets the job done here quite well. Most of the film is dialogue driven but during the scenes where the sound effects and the score play a more important part, the rear channels kick in nicely and rather effectively. The performers are always easy enough to understand and the levels are properly balanced throughout. This isn't a particularly surround heavy mix, but when the rear channels do kick in, you definitely notice it. An alternate English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Surround track is also included as are optional subtitles in English and Spanish (for the feature film only).
The first disc in this two disc set starts off with a commentary courtesy of co-writers/co-directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg joined here by lead actors Kal Penn and John Cho. This group discussion is a lot of fun as they cover the history of the production, the need for a follow up to the first film, and what it was like working on set. A lot of the same sort of humor that pops up in the film carries over to this commentary as well and at times it goes a little off topic but in general there's a lot of good, scene-specific information in here as well as a lot of goofball humor.
Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are on the second commentary as well, only this time around they're joined by actor James Adomian (the man who played George W. Bush) and the real Harold Lee. There's a fair bit of crossover here between this track and the first track, which makes sense considering that Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are on both commentaries. As such, they tend to get sidetracked easily, and maybe that's for the best. Alongside discussions about shooting on location and about casting the film, Adomian spends a fair bit of time impersonating the president and Lee more or less just chimes in randomly whenever he sees fit. This track just isn't as funny or as interesting as the first one was.
Also on the first disc is an interactive Dude, Change The Movie! option. If you watch the film with this option enabled, it plays out very much like a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' story and allows you to make choices for Harold and Kumar. Depending on what choice you make, you can wind up impacting the film in some pretty interesting ways - a prime example being if you choose not to allow Kumar to light the bong on the plane, an almost entirely different movie will play out! There's a ridiculous amount of alternate footage in here if you dig around for it and this is kind of a fun way to get some replay value out of the film.
Rounding out the options on the first disc are trailers for three other upcoming DVD releases: Run, Fat Boy, Run, Lost Boys: The Tribe, and Semi-Pro, as well as some animated menus and chapter selection sub-menus.
Disc two starts off with a twenty-two minutes featurette entitled Inside The World Of Harold And Kumar that features interviews with most of the key cast and crew from the film, including Neil Patrick Harris, and mixes it up with some pertinent clips and a fair bit of behind the scenes footage. Those involved talk about their specifics tasks on the film and on the set and while there's a decent amount of people interviewed here, it really does little more than to scratch the surface and it plays out as somewhat promotional in nature at times. Regardless, it does have its moments, if you're a Harold and Kumar fanatic you'll likely get something out of it.
Up next is a lengthy selection of eighteen deleted scenes and a bunch of extended bits from scenes that were used in the film. Most of these are too brief to be of much interest and they were likely cut for pacing reasons. There's an amusing bit with Secretary Fox but most of these are just extended takes and random bits of dialogue.
Rounding out the extras on disc two is a two minute fake service announcement from
James Adomian as President Bush that is little more than a trailer for the film, trailers and teasers for the feature, and some animated motion menus.
Harold & Kumar Escape From Gauntanamo Bay has its moments but just isn't as funny as its predecessor. There are a few moments of comedy gold in here but they're too few and far between for this one to work as well as the movie that came before it. Established fans of the duo will enjoy it for what it is and the film takes some interesting political risks, but it's simply too long and suffers from a couple of pacing problems. The audio and video are fine and the extras are plentiful, however. Rent it.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.