Sony // 2004 // 85 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 18th, 2004
Seduction. Deception. Revenge. Being jerks.
I must admit I failed to catch the first two entries in this storied franchise. However, I assume that the previous installments had their share of intentions that happened to be cruel. For a fix of cold, calculating, self-involved horn-dogs, look no further than Cruel Intentions 3.
Let's meet these bastards!
Cassie (Kristina Anapau): She puts the "bitch" in "What a bitch that girl is!!!" Her ideal man is smart, wealthy, and expendable. She has no problem having sex with strange guys for money, which makes her...a prostitute?
Jason (Nathan Wetherington): A smooth, charming pretty-boy, Jason pines for Cassie, and is determined to prove to her that he's got a higher IQ than a McGridle. His facial expression is permanently stuck on "smoldering" and he sports a sweet junior high quasi-mustache.
Patrick (Kerr Smith): A sex-crazed, depraved, self-centered deviant who lives for satiating his carnal desires and emotionally annihilating unsuspecting women. Aside from that he's an okay guy.
The three embark on their own creative little games of sexual manipulation and victimization to feed their need for power and money and just looking cool. In essence, the movie is broken down into three sets of tasks these bottom-feeders challenge each other to, with rewards ranging from cash to sole ownership of a dorm room to simple bragging rights.
Rest assured, bub, all of these escapades involve intentions that are, dare I say, friggin' cruel!!!
There's a money wager for Cassie to bang a couple of guys, a contest between Patrick and Jason to steal some girls from their significant others, and an endgame that finds one player in handcuffs. Since all these exercises in malicious intercourse end in twists, I won't spoil what you have been waiting for weeks to be in stock at your local Blockbuster.
Just know that lots of people who don't deserve to get screwed, get screwed, and a few who deserve to get screwed, get screwed.
All right, I've endured worse, but this movie certainly isn't anything special. The second sequel to a movie know mainly for a sensuous Sarah Michelle Gellar lesbian kiss (which has been reborn in direct-to-video marketing), Cruel Intentions 3 is obviously an exercise in the art of guilty pleasure.
Well, I felt guilt watching it, and, frankly it didn't elicit much pleasure.
The characters are just so perpetually unlikable, none of them could be considered as a protagonist. Conniving, pretentious, haughty, and abusive, the three main players in this innuendo-laden outing offer nothing for the viewing audience to root for. The fact the three do not get abducted by aliens, viciously probed, medically experimented on, and then jettisoned into interstellar space is a letdown. They each have it coming. As such, there is nobody to identify with. Getting involved in this kind of movie is hard, especially when you desire debilitating bodily harm to befall the main characters. In essence, viewing Cruel Intentions 3 became just that: a viewing. It was like going to the zoo, peering through some glass at some exotic animal.
BEWARE: DO NOT FEED THE SELF-ABSORBED LUSTY COLLEGE KIDS
Peppered with a few anonymous "love" scenes, the movie relied mainly on its noir-like college atmosphere and simmering sex talk to secure an illicit feel. Cassie does a lot of hip-swinging strutting around in her bikini, Jason keeps that facial expression in park, and Patrick talks as sly and slimy as he can.
More a National Geographic special on the mating habits of the rich and ruthless, Cruel Intentions 3 leaves a fairly unpleasant taste in this judge's mouth.
Columbia puts forth a decent effort in the visual department, giving the movie a widescreen treatment. There is some pixelation to be had, and the night scenes get grainy, but overall, the transfer is okay. The stereo mix (not 5.1 as the disc jacket would have you believe) is front-loaded and not very interesting.
Hot and bothered. The move tries to be hot, and, well, it bothers me.
Guilty pleasure, huh? Well, you're half-right. Court adjourned.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Rated R