House Party 4: Down to the Last Minute was a direct-to-video flick that had zero to do with the first three films. Now the movie does start IMX who did appear in the third movie but this time around playing different characters. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe Immature in part 4 as the same characters would have moviegoers thinking, “Where the hell is Kid n’ Play?” It’s a legit question.

In terms of films the plot is pretty damn simplistic. Jon Jon (Marques Houston) is just your average kid who is asked to go watch over this uncle’s house for a weekend. Jon Jon more or less decides that his payment should be a massive monster party thrown at his Uncle’s mansion. Jerome Jones (Romeo from Immature/IMX) and Kelton Kesse (LDB from Immature/IMX) plays his friends who are more than happy to throw a party at this swanky house.

Problem with this movie is it’s very simplistic. The trio are going to throw a party but stupid things keep happening to them. The problem? I guess it is my comparing this film to the first House Party – and why it fails in comparison. The first House Party was written by the one and only Reginald Hudlin. It also had a very simplistic plot but its the actors starring in the film that totally bring the characters to life. Kid n Play, Full Force, Groove B Chill, Tisha Campbell, Martin Lawrence, and Robin Harris were all amazing in House Party and made that film so much more than Kid trying to get to Play’s house to hit on all of the girls. There is massive amount of charisma in that film and the actors in part 4 never really achieve it.

Now it’s a shame because Marques Houston, who basically plays the main character in the film, is actually one decent actor. And time has told because Houston has been in some very fun hip-hop films to include You Got Served and Battlefield America, but also a wide arrange of television and films to also include Sister Sister, the Fat Albert live action film, the horror film Somebody Help Me and its sequel. He also made huge splash with his solo career outside of Immature/Imx. So when I look at most of the people involved I know that, other than Meagan Good, Marques is one of the better actors in this not-so-great film.

If there in anything that is truly great about this film is it’s Meagan Good. Meagan has has some great roles before and after House Party 4 to include Anchorman 2, One Missed Call, and Think Like A Man. She is definitely one of those actresses who is very easy to look at but also is able to put forth some good performances.

The huge problem is that you really care so little about all of the other characters in this film. They are all very one-note characters with bad lines and even worse acting. Look – I’m not going to say that the House Party films were all Academy Award winning films but everyone had their roles. They played those roles pretty well and they were all interesting.

That’s exactly what this House Party is missing. Fun characters. You really don’t give a crap for anyone beside Jon Jon…even the other members of Immature aren’t that great. The actual party itself is pretty damn lame. House Party 1 and 2 had some of the ultimate jams. Part 3 had a jam though it was one thrown by Immature and not the one that was supposed to be Kid’s bachelor party (which was funny in itself).

The one obviously thing that is really wrong with the film is that it has nothing to do with the previous films. It’s a waste. It’s a total waste. At the end of the day the Immature kids couldn’t have totally played their older selves. NOW – they don’t seem to have too much money in House Party 3 which is probably why it doesn’t fit in with the plot of going off to live with a rich uncle. They did have Uncle Vester (Bernie Mac) in House Party 3 but he wasn’t really rich. What does it matter? Why couldn’t have Uncle Vester have won the lottery between part 3 and part 4 and just included him in the story? Am I the only one who thinks about these things?

The film was directed by Chris Stokes who would go on to direct You’ve Got Served and Battlefield America along with Somebody Help Me part 1 and 2. He also did a No Vacancy film but I’ve never ever seen it nor even heard of his sequel before. I’m a huge fan of You’ve Got Served – I think that movie is so cheesy and yet so utterly brilliant so I’m pretty sure Stokes will get a pass from me from now on. HOWEVER as House Party 4 came before You’ve Got Served he will not be getting a pass for this piece of crap.

Jerome and Kelton would neither reach the level that their bandmate was able to reach. I think it is a testament to Marquis’ talent…and that every rapper or singer out there isn’t always cut out to be an actor. I’ll actually go a bit further and say that most of the cast just isn’t very good either. I’m sure this has to do with the budget they had on this film. I imagine as this wasn’t planned to be a theatrically release film that the budget would be quite low.

I just reread this over and I didn’t even fully delve into the plot. It’s funny because in watching this entire film it really just went in one ear and out the other. It did not compare to any of the House Parties in the Kid N Play films. Whey would you want to go backwards? The only thing I can really think of other then that (but can find no proof that this actually happened) was that the film was not supposed to be a House Party film and someone decided to make it a House Party film at the very last second (see Meatballs 4, Troll 2, etc.). Most likely it is just a bad sequel that was planned on being a House Party film in name only. Lord knows we’ve seen plenty of franchises continue with bad sequels and none of the original stars (the 37 American Pie sequels NOT starring the cast come to mind).

This was just a horrible film hands down. There really isn’t any redeeming qualities to it, the story horrible, and the acting abysmal. Now I haven’t even seen the fifth film yet but I do know that the fifth film does connect in a way back to the first three films. So that’s a good thing. It has a cameo from Kid n Play. That’s a great thing. I’m pretty sure at the point we can all just forget that House Party 4 exists. I doubt that I would ever watch this crappy movie again – maybe if I lost a bet or something was trying to torture me. It is literally the only way I could see myself watching this garbage again.

If you never seen it just trust me…SKIP right by it. Unless you are Chris Stokes’ mother or Marques Houston’s mother no one else is really going to care about. They were probably right in bringing this straight-to-video back in the day…this movie would have BOOOOOOOOOMBED!