review by Bobby Blakey
Back in 1990 rap stars Kid & Play hit the big screen in their feature film House Party. The film is the ultimate hip-hop party comedy and has cemented itself as a classic. Since then it spawned numerous sequels with the rap duo starring in the first three. Now they have remade the film aptly titled House Party starring Jacob Latimore, Tosin Cole, Karen Obilom, D.C. Young Fly, and Scott Mescudi. Could this new chapter bring anything fresh to the franchise or will it be a party you should pass on?
House Party follows two friends who are struggling to make ends meet and get the chance to clean LeBron James' mansion. The two decide to take advantage and rack up some extra cash by throwing a mansion party at LeBron's place and invite tons of star-studded celebrities.
I will be the first to agree that there is no reason for a remake to House Party. At the same time there have been 3 previous sequels so it comes as no surprise. I personally think they should have labled this one as yet another sequel of sorts to let it stand out instead of the reimagining idea. The story is completely different outside of the idea of two friends putting on a party so it never tries to be the original and instead just is its own thing with some similarities.
That being said the film is fine and is entertaining for the most part, but at the same time feels like something we have seen a thousand times over, because we have. The saving grace here is the locale of LeBron’s house and getting a who’s who of sports and music stars in on the fun. The story has a way different set up and reasoning behind the party and goes way off the rails to some ridiculous, but fun directions while infusing elements that honor the original.
The cast are all fine. None of them with the exception of the DJ played by D.C. Young Fly really stand out all that much. I felt like he brought his own fun to the role while being infused with both Bilal and Pee-Wee from the original film. Most of the cameos, and there are a lot of them, are pretty quick and fun complete with some nods to the original film that I had wished was bigger.
I had very low expectations for the film and decided to watch it like the previous chapters and it played up just like that. When it works it works well, when it doesn’t its jut average and forgettable.
Join the next generation for a party when House Party hits Blu-ray and DVD on February 14th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.