New to buy on digital in the UK from today (and available to rent from February 13th) is the US comedy, House Party. The movie – directed by Calmatic – stars Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore, and follows the story of two aspiring club promoters, who decide to throw a huge party at the home of LA Lakers star, LeBron James.
In the movie, Damon and Kevin spend their days working two jobs. One job sees them clean houses for well-to-do clients, while the other involves club promotion.
However, neither job is going particularly well, and when they find themselves fired from their cleaning contract, due to inappropriate behaviour, they face a worrying future. That is, until Damon discovers the house they are currently cleaning belongs to LeBron James, and this gives him an idea.
With James away for two weeks at a meditation retreat, the property is sitting idle. As such, if he and Kevin were to throw a huge party, designed to attract high-profile guests, they could make money on the entrance fee, then clean the place up without James ever knowing.
Although Kevin is a little hesitant at first, he soon goes along with Damon’s plan, and the two set out to throw the ultimate party. But will they pull everything off without James getting wise to the situation, or are they in for a whole heap of trouble?
For those who haven’t already clocked the title, House Party is a reboot/remake of the 1990 cult comedy of the same name. If you recall that movie, you’ll remember it starred hip hop duo Kid ‘n Play, and it was a big hit when it was released 33 years ago.
Such was the success of the original House Party, it went on to spawn various sequels, as well as a spin-off. All these years on, it is still a favourite amongst audiences, and in 2022 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
As for this latest film – which doesn’t feature Kid ‘n Play in the lead roles – House Party 2023 hopes to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps while restarting the franchise. The aim is to deliver something for a whole new generation, while retaining the anarchic comedy of what came before.
Whether it ultimately achieves that goal remains to be seen, and based on its poor performance at the US box office, as well as the fact it has skipped cinemas over here, it is looking unlikely to reach the same lofty heights of the original. However, lower your expectations, presume this new film isn’t going to be the next cultural touchstone, and you might come away from it having had a good time.
Sure, this movie won’t win over die-hard fans of the original, nor is it perfect, but it still delivers a great deal of fun. House Party has enough jokes to keep things ticking along, it features a heap of cameos from some well-known faces, and it certainly had me laughing at various points during the picture.
Did I adore it? No. But did I enjoy it? Yes, I did.
House Party is daft, disposable fun, and at times complete nonsense. It is an easy-watch, perfect for a lazy sunny afternoon, and with the world being an utter sh*t show right now, who doesn’t want some pure escapism in their lives?
Taking on the lead roles in the film are Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore, who play Damon and Kevin, respectfully. Cole and Latimore are likeable leads, who steer House Party through a number of tonal shifts (stoner comedy, heartfelt picture, slapstick fun, etc), and they manage it all very well.
House Party is a film that is not to be taken too seriously, they understand this, and yet they still ensure their characters feel fully-rounded. Cole and Latimore could have easily played this whole thing for laughs, but instead they serve up solid performances, which add some weight to the material.
Likewise, director Calmatic backs them up with a film which knows exactly when to dive into the lighter moments, and when to pull back. House Party does feature a couple of off-the-wall scenes, including a hilarious sequence involving a stoned koala, but it also delivers some heart too.
Once again, this whole thing could have just descended into complete insanity, but it doesn’t. It manages to find a decent(ish) balance with its comedy, and this doesn’t go unnoticed.
Where the film struggles a little is in its length, which is perhaps ten-to-twenty minutes too long, and in some of its gags which fall a bit flat. It may also feel rather unnecessary for some audiences, and simply not as much fun as the original.
But with a good soundtrack, a playful vibe, some fun out takes over the end credits, and its heart largely in the right place, House Party isn’t bad. It will have you wanting to throw some shapes to ‘90s tunes, and it might even get you in the mood for a little shindig of your own.
Although, if you’re over the age of 40, you should probably reach for the ibuprofen before you embark on any dancing. You may also prefer to just watch a party in action, rather than attempt to throw one, because you’re old now and there really is no need for you to stay up past 10pm.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
Leave a Reply