You can tell that “House Party 3” is pretty much where Kid and Play are on the way out, pop culture wise. It seems while New Line Cinema funded their first two films, they drastically cut the budget for this third entry in to the series. And it shows big time. It looks dated. Even more dated than the first one. The photography is hazy, the camera work is amateur, there is an obscene amount of close ups on character faces, and the comedy is nowhere to be found. There isn’t a single laugh to be had here. And the slapstick escapist tone is all but missing.
Which is a shame because in the opening it seems like it has the potential to be a great final outing for the comedy hip hop team. Only Kid and Play appear in this third film and no one from the original film shows up. There’s barely a reference made to Kid’s passed father. While the second film was preachy and melodramatic, it at least acknowledges the original. This movie feels detached and lifeless. Kid is out of college and is now a freelance record agent with Play. So the higher education nonsense in part two was for nothing. He’s still living in a run down suburb with his family, and is on the verge of marriage to a bland but beautiful young woman who is always compared to Kid’s last love Sidney (Tisha Campbell who has a brief thankless cameo).
The rest of the film revolves around preparations for Kid’s marriage while he tries to book a new group as played by a young TLC. Meanwhile there are cameos from all kinds of hip hop stars and comedians all of whom contribute nothing, and we spend most of the time on young hip hop group Immature who steals most of the movie away from Kid and Play. And did I mention there’s not a party to be had until the final fifteen minutes of the movie? The greater portion of the screen time is devoted to poorly written comedy monologues, Bernie Mac hamming it up, and Kid and Play trying to recapture the charisma they lost after the second film closed. “House Party 3” shows its chinks from the opening with badly filmed scenes, and horrible editing with nothing to show for it but a tedious mess that collapses in on its crappiness. Terrible, tedious, and unfunny, “House Party 3” further loses sight of the original film’s premise and wastes the time of the audience and its stars in the process. There isn’t a single laugh to be had.