Antonio Fargas as layabout uncle Jim, who drinks beer and farts a lot, is the comic centerpiece of ”3 Strikes.” And if the notion of ”Starsky and Hutch’s” Huggy Bear breaking wind doesn’t fill your sails, you’re out of luck: Writer-director DJ Pooh (who cowrote ”Friday”) returns to this gag again and again in the course of this toxic gas leak.
Paroled back into his South Central L.A. community a second time, Rob (Brian Hooks) knows that, given the state’s tough penal code, a third arrest means a life sentence. But almost immediately upon his release, he gets involved in a police shoot-out while riding in a stolen car. He runs, he hides (at one point among Mexican neighbors partial to tourist-wear sombreros and serapes) – and he’s a wanted man again, hunted down by David Alan Grier, who plays a jerk of a detective with just the right level of dunderheaded pride.
In ”Friday,” seriously funny commentary about life in South Central was made to feel lighter than it was. In ”3 Strikes,” empty jokes hang heavy, and you may find yourself fanning the air much as Uncle Jim’s family does when the old coot lets one rip.