This 90s remake isn’t all that.
The iconic 90s comedy hit “House Party” with Kid n Play and the late Robin Harris will last longer than this new remake. It knew how to have Kid sneak out for a party and then get his ass whooped by his Pop in the end. This new version starts off funny and goes in a downward spiral.
The minute we see the early 90s New Line Cinema logo being merged with the new Warner Bros. logo, we feel good. But when the party begins, it gets pretty boring. It’s the kind of party movie that wants to be hilarious, but doesn’t know how to keep everything in balance.
The new Kid n Play are now played by Jacob Latimore as the struggling young single father Kevin and Tosin Cole as the lazy and ambitious IG star Damon (Da-Mon to be pronounced). They’re both house cleaners and would-be party promoters, who both immediately lose their jobs for smoking pot on the job. But as luck would have it, the mansion they’re cleaning belongs to non-other than LeBron James, who happens to be on a meditation retreat. That’s when they decide to host the biggest party of the year with an expensive cover charge and some of the biggest talents around like Lena Waithe, Snoop Dogg, Mya, and Kid Cudi in attendance.
Of course, they have to give their guests a “No Social Media” rule to keep this party on the down low. But I doubt they would follow that rule since they’re in the home of the Lakers legend.
Parts of the first 40 minutes had me rolling in the aisles. How these boys discover LeBron’s house, how popcorn can come from his home theater ceiling, and how they try to avoid his white neighbor (Andrew Santino) are LOL funny. But the rest of the humor has to be dull, typical, and predictable with stoned koalas and damages to LeBron’s house. Now, what wouldn’t be a raunchy comedy without stoned animals and damages?
LeBron and Maverick Carter are both credited here as producers. Their worst film is “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which was my pick of the worst film of 2021. And their best production was last year’s “Hustle,” which continued to prove that Adam Sandler can cut back on the dopey Happy Madison gags. This new “House Party” is filled with too many supporting characters and not enough laughs or fun to keep the 90s spirit alive. It’s often hard to keep up with all these antics and behaviors going on.
At least, they have the decency to keep the original Kid n Play in cameos.
Seeing how Latimore and Cole bring on the comedy during the first 40 minutes and how they would eventually see the good in each other later in the film, I think these two should collaborate again in another film, but one with a script that’s as consistent as the comedy. They have, respectively, been given fine roles in more serious films before, and they both have the potential to push themselves in comical territory. But this “House Party” isn’t all that. Stick to the original, people!