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A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas
  • Composed by William Ross
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2011 / 47:57

Stoner duo Harold and Kumar return in this festive adventure, as they reunite for some Christmas shenanigans some years after their last film (when they went to Guantanemo Bay).  The director intended to inject some genuine Christmas warmth amongst all the adult gross-out humour and it is from that idea that William Ross has drawn for his very enjoyable score.  He plays it straight throughout, writing big music for a big orchestra (it is heartening to read the film’s very young director Todd Strauss-Schulson say in his liner notes how much a fan of big orchestral film scores he is – note to studios, not all young people wet their pants with excitement when they hear a droning themeless soundscape accompanying a film).

Ross’s music runs through a vast range of styles over the course of the album.  There are the Christmas bells (of course!) playing their part in some genuinely warm themes; and he interpolates various Christmas tunes (Joy to the World, Jingle Bells, etc).  There’s also some Mexicana, some Zorro-esque adventure music, some jazz, some elegant classical pastiche and most of all, lots and lots of very high-quality action music.  Even this comes in various styles (some Zimmerish, some more classically orchestral).  Really, it’s all very entertaining indeed, very well-written music which pushes all the right buttons.  The only thing stopping it from getting to the next level is the short-term nature of most of the ideas, which come into being, are executed and then forgotten all within a matter of seconds (the 48-minute CD has 36 tracks and many of those are made up of more than one distinct idea).  However, the score’s strengths make it an easy recommendation to add to the Christmas film music CD rotation.  ***

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