‘House Party (2023)’ Review: LeBron James Produces One Of The Worst Comedies – Ever
LeBron James' 'House Party' is a stone-cold, lead pipe lock for a spot on my eventual 'Top Five Worst Movies of 2023' list.
It takes a lot of effort to be regarded as the ‘worst House Party movie in existence’, but LeBron James somehow found a way to add yet another title to his resume (and this time he didn’t need a pandemic to win it).
When I first saw the trailer for the remake of House Party, I made the mistake of believing that the film had potential. I even though that, if handled in the right way, this film could have been a sleeper in the cinema graveyard that is Hollywood’s January release schedule.
I was 1000% wrong.
As anyone who watched the original (and I’m assuming that most people reading have) know, House Party was a reflection of Black culture in the late 1980s and the childhoods of Generation X – a time when new jack swing was the popular musical style and gangster rap hadn’t taken everything downhill.
It was so well done that it has remained a cult classic even decades after its release.
Enter LeBron James.
Warner Discovery boss David Zaslav needs to have a serious conversation with Warner Bros. about their relationship with the softest man in the NBA.
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When he isn’t reading the same two pages of Malcom X’s autobiography, LeBron spends his time cosplaying as a Hollywood film producer, and his production company was responsible for pushing this bastardization of House Party.
But between this film and the stinker that was 2021’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, it’s becoming clear that he only knows how to serve up films that are poised to sweep Razzies awards and lose millions in the process.
Even if audiences knew that director Calmatic had only done hip-hop music videos before House Party, that knowledge would only half-way prepare them for what is certain to go down – even just thirteen days into the year – as one of the worst movies of 2023.
House Party tells the story of two broke club promoters, Kevin (Jacob Latimore) and Damon (Tosin Cole), who are on the look out for their next big score.
Providing house keeping services to millionaires by day, the two eventually find themselves assigned to clean James’ LA mansion, at which point Damon gets the idea to host a party at the NBA star’s house without his knowledge.
Desperate to find the money for his daughter’s preschool education, Kevin agrees, and hijinks ensue.
At face value, this is an idea that could have worked. Unfortunately, James didn’t want to spend the money to hire anyone who knew how the hell to make that happen.
House Party is a failure right out of the gate.
For a movie that is listed as a comedy, the film is about as funny as watching the George Floyd arrest video. 98% of the humor in this film does not land, to the point where the crowd is noticeably silent after almost every joke.
Then there’s the plot, which is paper thin at best. The protagonists claim that they’re throwing the party for the sake of Kevin’s daughter, but outside of one scene in the very beginning, you get no indication that Kevin is a good father in any way, shape, or form.
Of course, it shouldn’t be surprising that the story doesn’t matter here, because everything about House Party, from its premise to its entertainment, is predicated solely on cameos from and references to rappers and sports athletes.
It has no heart, no soul, no genuine reason to exist.
…And then there’s the third act, which takes a hard turn by using an occultic on-screen representation of the satanic Illuminati as a plot point.
Yeah, you read that right.
After LeBron James’s championship ring gets stolen by a group of thugs, our duo goes to a mansion party hosted by the Illuminati whose membership of celebrities – including Kid ‘n Play from the original movies – are shown partaking in blood drinking, bloodsports, and occult worship.
This is all supposed to be played for laughs, but for most of us who are still waiting for Jeffrey Epstein’s client list to be exposed, a joke about a cabal of elite satanic celebrities running the world is too on the nose to be taken as humor and as such ends up bringing the entire film to a screeching halt.
By the time James actually showed up to act, I walked out. There was nothing else that needed to be seen about this movie that could save it from that low point.
Everyone in House Party has to constantly remind you just how great LeBron James, and in light of the knowledge that he’s both its producer and one of its star makes you realize that this film is nothing more than the cinema equivalent of LeBron masturbating himself in the face of moviegoers.
Don’t hire rap video directors to lead a major motion picture movie.
As I said before, House Party is a stone-cold, lead pipe lock for a spot on my eventual ‘Top Five Worst Movies of 2023’ list.
If this year holds five worse films than this, then we are in deep trouble.
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