Movie Review: House Party 3 (1994)
“The best house party yet.”
House Party 3 (1994)
Director: Eric Meza
Cast: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, David Edwards
Synopsis: After more than their share of exploits, best friends Kid ‘N Play are growing up: Kid is marrying his girlfriend, Veda, and Play is trying to survive in the music business. But they face major hurdles in their maturation process.
House Party 3, the third – and weakest – entry in the House Party franchise see thirty-something rappers Kid ‘n’ Play (remember them? Me neither…) finally facing up to the challenges of adult life. Kid (Christopher Reid) is preparing to marry Veda (Angela Means) after finishing with Sydney (Tisha Campbell), his girlfriend from the first two movies, who returns for just a couple of scenes in this one. Naturally, his wedding calls for a bachelor party, but before Play (Christopher Martin) can organise that he has to sign hot young female trio Sex as a Weapon for a tour or face the wrath of shady music promoter Showboat (Michael Colyar). Meanwhile, Kid’s three precocious nephews (kiddie rap band Immature) are determined to show their Uncle just how to throw a party.
No-one expects much from a movie whose title ends with a number, especially if that number is higher than 2, and in that respect House Party 3 neither disappoints nor exceeds reasonable expectations. Of the two leads, it’s Play who’s the better actor and who projects more screen presence, but he’s little more than a sidekick to Kid, an actor of limited ability who looks like nobody’s idea of a rapper and lacks any kind of charisma. Raplet band Immature are drafted in to provide some cute humour by acting like tiny adults (without the cursing) but outstay their welcome somewhere around the three minute mark, and the film relies heavily on its other supporting characters for laughs with variable results. Ketty Lester mines for dubious laughs as Kid’s senile Aunt Lucy, whom Immature easily distract from their own party with a porn video, while Bernie Mac (Ocean’s Twelve) is his loudmouth Uncle Vester, who dispenses fatherly advice between off-colour racist jibes. Given just one scene in which to make an impression in his big-screen debut (after a bit part in The Meteor Man) is Chris Tucker (Rush Hour), who plays spivvy hustler Johnny Booze.
The humour in House Party 3 is fairly broad – and much of it probably wouldn’t make it to the screen if filmed today. Kid’s light skin tone is repeatedly mocked by other characters in a way that would be considered racist if the lines were spoken by white actors, but which are presumably considered acceptable because they come from the mouths of blacks. Mind you, racial sensitivity isn’t the only thing that’s undergone a sea change since 1994 – some of the fashions on display are a serious crime against humanity.
(Reviewed 30th March 2016)
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