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Keenen Ivory Wayans,
Charles S. Dutton,
Jada Pinkett Smith
Come to a new House Party, where Kid, after a lifetime 'playing the field', falls in love and is about to get married. 'Play' plans to throw the rockin'est bachelor party ever - until 'Kid's' three wise-crackin' nephews come to town, intent on showing 'Kid' and 'Play' what parties are all about... Written by
Michael Oglesby <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you were to ask me how many ways this film transformed into a disaster, I do not believe I would have enough fingers and toes to fully count the ways. From the dreamy beginning of this bland final chapter, until the ending cliché moments, there were probably a million different themes and elements that were utterly pathetic. In fact, I believe that this may be the first film that I have watched which had no redeeming values surrounding it. For any of you that have watched, like myself, the House Party trilogy, there is a level of expectation that follows these films. The first movie set the groundwork. Kid & Play need to get to a party and express themselves lyrically. The sequel finished the shabby generic walls of the house by repeating a similar diagram, while the third film was the demolition team to tear it down. Everything set up from the beginning of this series was destroyed, demolished, decayed, disemboweled by the time that the third installment arrived. We were missing key characters, Kid & Play seemed less excited by this film, and apparently continuity from the second film was not a top priority for director Eric Meza. This film is nothing but trash left in the house for too long. House Party 3 smells, it is attracting too many flies, and mold is the only form of life willing to adapt to it. Sad to see the potentials of a trilogy die because the final film didn't pay respect to its beginnings.
I would like to say that the acting was to blame for such a disappointing ending, but that means I would have to admit to there actually being acting in this film. That is something I am not willing to acknowledge at this time. As our story developed, you could easily see the relief behind Kid & Play's eyes knowing that this was going to be their final jaunt in the House Party line. In fact, you could see the excitement melt away from their characters as the film progressed. It was a headache to watch. Kid was not his typical expression-esquire self, but instead, older and more tired? Play was just annoying in this film. Meza decided to completely disregard their passions in the first two films and make them managers instead of performers in this final one. This is what hurt the most, to witness two characters that we have seen grow over time from young idealistic teens ready to lyrically express themselves and go to parties, to old, tired, and boring actors caring less about the music, more about the money, and have the lamest parties imaginable. I thought I would never find myself saying this, but I missed "Pops" from the original. I didn't miss him in the second film, but now seeing this final chapter I missed some of the old faces. This may be the only time you hear me say this, but I missed Martin Lawrence. While I hated his character in the first two films, he was an element missing House Party 3. They tried to cover this by employing Bernie Mac as the annoying Uncle, but it just didn't seem to work. Screaming is not a substitute for acting. Chris Tucker makes a small cameo, and honestly, I could have used more of him. He was a shining bit of light in this dark, damp, disgusting film.
As you read this review, you may find yourself saying, "Andy, you hated the other two films, what made you think this would be any different?" I don't think I was hoping for Oscar nominations, but I did want a strong finale to this trilogy. I worked my way through it, I felt I deserved it. I wanted to see familiar faces, as much as I hated them, I wanted to see a familiar plot (however generic and repetitive it was to be), and I wanted to see a union between two familiar characters, instead of throwing in a random stranger at the end. I feel as if these are very reasonable requests considering nothing lead me to believe this film would end up to be the tragedy it was. After watching this film, no matter how bad it was going to be, I wanted to be able to flip through the channels on TV and see House Party on TBS and find myself reminiscing of the future that I knew. Now, that is never going to happen. If there is one trilogy that I want to put behind me, it is the House Party films. For nearly an hour and a half, we watch unmotivated characters force themselves through cliché urban hip-hop cinema motions. Where were the bad guys? Where were the familiarities of the original films? I hated the first films, but I detested House Party 3. Why bother building a fan base if you are just going to tear it down with the finale. It is somewhat like changing characters midway through a television series. It just doesn't work, and it didn't work in this film.
Overall, this movie was a disaster. While the other two films were never much to write home about, I did want a conclusion. I wanted to finish this series without worrying that there may be more coming around the bend. That was, before I noticed House Party 4 as another sequel. This series should have ended after the first one. House Party is a classic example of what happens when Hollywood notices that small budget films can continue to make money even after they loose their appeal. Take a look at Scary Movie 4 being released soon. Honestly, is it necessary? I do not suggest this film or this entire series. The first one, if you are forced to watch, than watch. Otherwise, don't waste your brain space!
Grade: * out of *****
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