Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle 3 Strikes

By Marjorie Baumgarten

MARCH 13, 2000: 

D: D.J. Pooh; with Brian Hooks, N'Bushe Wright, Faizon Love, De'Aundre Bonds, David Alan Grier, Vincent Schiavelli, George Wallace, Antonio Fargas, David Leisure. (R, 83 min.)

Lenny Bruce used to do a routine about the way in which nasty words could lose their power and meaning when repeated over and over again. Why I found myself thinking of Bruce while watching 3 Strikes is a mystery, or wishful thinking, because there is no comedic relationship between the two. There is, however, plenty of time to kill while watching this movie because it doesn't require attention to be paid. And without much of a story, convincing performances, or visual style to spark your juices, the mind tends to wander. But by the point you might be ready to drift away, the excessiveness of the foul language bombards the brain like a verbal assault. I'm no bleeping pansy when it comes to this kind of stuff, but jeez, ya gotta draw the line somewhere, and I guess the old "no other redeeming social value" standard is as good as any. 3 Strikes is the best example of this principle I've seen in a while. Rap producer and first-time feature film director D.J. Pooh marshals this thing into a movie without an ounce of believability, craftsmanship, or subtlety. Implausible and not noticeably funny, 3 Strikes is a South Central comedy caper, whose jokes revolve around prison, gunplay, exotic dancing, viciously jealous women, horny fat women, and of course the old standby, fart jokes. Even in this area, the usage is overkill. Once-fabulous actor Antonio Fargas (Car Wash, Next Stop, Greenwich Village) contributes nothing but copious fart noises to the picture. Whether this was his "dialogue" as scripted or an editorial commentary, the movie reeks as badly as it sounds.

0 Stars


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