I had missed House Party 3 when it was first released in theaters – not because of lack of interest but because I was visiting scenic Fort Jackson, SC for some oh-so-fun Army basic training. It wasn’t until that summer that I was actually able to sit down and watch House Party 3 to some disappointment. Over the years the film has grown on me quite a bit and that is probably because of all the stars the film had that were not actually stars when the movie was released. That’s not to say that some of the bad things found in this film aren’t still bad (matter of fact I find them even more offensive) but there is still a lot of great as well.

Let me get through the basic plot first: Kid is getting married to the beautiful Veda (Angela Means) while also managing musical groups with Play. The duo is trying to land a tour for this group Sex is a Weapon (played by the group TLC) and end up making a deal with some asshole named Showboat (Michael Colyar) who sits around in his office all day with a bunch of tough female bodyguards. It’s like something out of a Bond film. Showboat gives the duo a bunch of money – which Play then plans to use for Kid’s bachelor party. Problem is Kid and Play haven’t actually signed Sex is a Weapon nor convinced them to do the tour of the “Chitlin’ Circuit.”

On top of all of this Kid’s cousins (the group Immature) come to town. You would think a bunch of kids in a rated-R comedy would be awful but these kids kinda hold their own. Sorta.  They are a bunch of scammers and the main kid Marques, who is really the best actor of the three, is Marques Houston – who would find a ton of success in acting, with Immature, and his own solo career. They ended up swindling the airline for a bunch of money and decide that while Kid is having his bachelor party at the hotel the kids will throw their own house party back at the house. Funny thing is with all the cash they have they decide to steal all of Play’s arrangements for the bachelor party and just bring them to the house for their party.

The film can actually be pretty good when it isn’t delving into the stupid and asinine. There are some moments in the film that really have me saying WTF!!?!?!? For instance the basic plot is getting the money from Showboat but he then immediately is out trying to get Sex is a Weapon or his money back. Like the next day. The man doesn’t give the group any time to prepare – it is basically, “Where’s the girls or where’s my money?”

There’s this scene with three blind rappers that is VERY OUT OF PLACE. The rappers are in their dressing room. They are feeling up pictures of girls taped to the wall. Like it is supposed to be funny that these blind guys are fondling cut out pictures of girls stuck to the wall. The end of their scene has this trio go outside to their VW Bug. There is a seat on the hood and a MASSIVE white walking cane. One of them gets into the seat, the other two get into the car, and they drive off with the guy on the hood directing them with the huge white walking cane. I’m pretty sure this idea had been written at 3AM with writers David Toney and Takashi Bufford smoking a shit ton of weed. I’m not sure how this then actually was filmed, how this actually made it into the film, and how executives at New Line were like, ‘Shit, leave that in!” It is extremely dumb, unneeded, and ends up not advancing the plot at all. It is simply in there for a one-note joke that is in no way funny.

The other glaring problem of this movie is David Edwards playing Play’s cousin Stinky. I can only guess why this idiotic, stupid, and dumb character is in this movie. I could be dead wrong but I’m certain the writers wrote Martin Lawrence’s character Bilal into the film. Martin Lawrence might have looked at the script and said, “NO.” He might have been way too busy and had to decline. Instead of rewriting the script the screenwriters simply changed Bilal to Stinky and made the character ONE MILLION TIMES MORE ANNOYING. No offense to David Edwards but he is not a good actor. On top of that when you put him in all of his scenes with Kid and Play who are charismatic and charming, Edwards just comes off even MORE annoying. On top of that his lines and character motivations are just abysmal. It’s a shame…even Immature act the pants off of Edwards.

While not a gripe the timeline in the film is also puzzling. House Party 2 came out in 1991 where Kid was a freshman. 3 years later House Party 3 comes out where Kid is no longer in college and working with Play trying to manage all these acts. The thing is Kid has a line where he says he’s been doing promotion and managing for 4 years. So did Kid drop out of school? I don’t think so. I believe what the filmmakers are trying to say is Kid graduated school in 1995 and…I guess this film takes place four years later in 1999…??? One look at the clothes Play wears and you KNOW that it is not 1999. It is just one little throwaway line by Kid but it really doesn’t fit unless he just dropped out of school. And I don’t think Kid is a quitter.

This movie just had some great talent. While TLC isn’t onscreen a ton it is great to see them on the big screen especially Left Eye. This flick is about a year or so before they dropped CrazySexyCool and became monster superstars…success they would ride for about ten more years.

Bernie Mac plays Uncle Vester who is supposed to be the brother of the late Robin Harris (Kid’s pops in the original). When I first saw this film back in the day I was put off by Bernie’s acting. As the years went on and Bernie became more and more famous you can look back at these early performances and see what Bernie was trying to pull off in the role. Basically his performance aged like a fine wine. There is a dinner party scene with Kid, Veda, Veda’s parents, Vester, and Kid’s Aunt Lucy where the dinner just goes off the rails. Vester threatens to cut Veda’s mom and everything goes down hill from there. I’ll admit that this scene is just a gem. In retrospect I can totally see Bernie and Robin being brothers. Imagine growing up with those two in the same house?

Khandi Alexander plays Veda’s sister Janelle. She is a beautiful woman first of all. Second she is a hell of an actress. After this movie she did a bunch of other great films before becoming a television staple (NewsRadio, Scandal, ER, CSI: Miami). Third…did I mention she’s beautiful? Gorgeous.

Chris Tucker shows up for like 8 seconds. I remember thinking, ‘This dude is weird” when I watched the movie. Then I next saw him Friday and thought, “Damn that dude is damn funny.” Then the next time I watched House Party 3 I was like, “Dude! That guy I didn’t like was Chris Tucker just being Chris Tucker!” His role in this is brief and he basically gives Immature a bunch of money for a claim check they got from the airport. It was a weird plot point…but there’s lots of puzzling things about this film so I won’t dwell on it.

EVEN MORE BRIEF is Eddie Griffin who shows up at Kid’s bachelor party. It was Eddie’s forte in the early 90’s…just randomly showing up in movies that I love (even better is his brief appearance in Brain Donors). But as quickly as he shows up ….he’s gone. Hey guy needed an acting role. Eddie’s gotta eat.

Immature was okay in this film…but it is just a weird film to have them in. I’m not really sure what was the point. I mean I get that they show up and hijack Kid’s bachelor party but…WHY!??!?!?

As for Kid and Play it is always good to see them back together in a film. The two had chemistry and they were just natural actors. House Party 2 had the duo apart quite a bit until the end so it was nice that they were pretty much together throughout this film. It’s a shame that they were saddled with such a puzzling script that went off the rails in places. But, as time has shown, I’d rather have a not-great House Party 3 then not one at all. I really do enjoy parts of this film

This was it for the guys. This was the swan song. They never made any more albums nor movies together (we won’t count cameos). The soundtrack was the last stuff the duo did. Basically this was the end of the two as a partnership. Kid would keep acting – mostly in TV and later some voice acting. Play would find God and get into Christian hip hop – I guess he was sick of playing the guy always trying to hit on the ladies?

I have yet to see House Party 5 but I here that it actually plays into House Party 3 (and ignores House Party 4 entirely). Guess I’ll have to wait and see just how it ties in. But I still have Kid n Play cartoons to go through. And comic books. And Class Act. So much more…so much more…