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3 Strikes

Released: 2000

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 1 hr 22 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: DJ Pooh

Starring: Brian Hooks, N'Bushe Wright, Faizon Love, Starletta DuPois, George Wallace

Comedy film, written and directed by DJ Pooh.

A laughless comedy.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 8 years ago

The problem with bad films like 3 STRIKES -- a laughless comedy -- isn't just that they rob us of our entertainment dollars. The most lamentable aspect is what they teach us as a society.

Featuring African-American men who are almost all criminals and women who are almost universally referred to and act like bitches and 'hos, the film paints such a stereotyped world that it's easy to lose our collective self-respect.

A microcosm of what's wrong with such movies occurred in our theater. In front of me were a mother and her kindergarten-age daughter. Why, in a multiplex featuring 15 other movies, including some good family ones, the mother would expose her daughter to such an abhorrent picture is a mystery that's not worth solving. But, how the daughter reacted is instructive.

The daughter was full of questions for her mother about what the men and women were saying and doing. Only in a scene of oral sex was it too much for her, as she buried her innocent eyes under her mother's arm. Certainly, it was completely inappropriate for this young child to be in such an R-rated movie, but think about those teenagers who see it. And make no mistake about it, teens and young adults are the movie's intended demographics. People in this age bracket are less likely to ask the little girl's naive questions. Inundated with such loathsome material, it is easy for the teens to accept this celluloid version as reality.

The plot of 3 STRIKES -- to the extent that there is any -- concerns a prisoner, Rob Douglas (Brian Hooks), who is about to be released from prison. Under California's "3 strikes" law, if he's convicted one more time, he'll be back for at least 25 more years in the slammer. As his mother points out, he was in trouble within 3 days of his last release, so he has reason to worry that he'll be arrested again soon.

Immediately after his release from incarceration, he cruises down the highway smoking dope with a friend. This friend, it turns out, is packing more than pot. He's got a gun, which he uses in the shootout with the cops who pull him over for driving a stolen car. Rob manages to run away during a hail of bullets, as the cops turn the car into an imitation of Bonnie and Clyde's famous Swiss-cheese automobile.

Written and directed by D.J. Pooh, who shared the writing credits for FRIDAY and NEXT FRIDAY, 3 STRIKES might as well have been written by a computer, as it has the word "nigger" and the same obscenities appearing in random order at the rate of about 3 to 4 times per sentence. The script has the coherence of a racist who has hit his finger with a hammer and starts spewing a slew of expletives.

Even the successful African-Americans in the film are not spared from ridicule. A black co-host of the evening television news is so obnoxious that he smokes and talks on his cell phone as his white companion tries his best to deliver the news. Another embarrassing moment in a completely disgusting movie.

3 STRIKES runs 1:22. It is rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content, some drug use and a brief scene of violence. I'd hate to see kids of any age go to this movie.