Three the Hard Way - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Three the Hard Way Reviews

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September 12, 2017
this is one of my favorite black 70s movies. it has all the typical aspects of this sort of film; funky music, nudity, fist fights, gun fights, car chases, cars blowing up, and an overly complicated plot. it also has kung fu. i like how easily the cars blow up in this movie. like you could just go over a speed bump back in them days and your car would explode. i also love when three badass topless chicks show up to torture a guy
February 18, 2017
The soundtrack is a classic, period.
January 30, 2016
An LA music producer (Jim Brown) runs afoul of a paramilitary organization that plans to kill every black person in America by introducing a disease to the water supply. They kill his buddy and kidnap his lady love (Sheila Frazier), but the bad guys didn't count on their quarry calling in a karate master (Jim Kelly) and a weapons expert (Fred WIlliamson) for backup. Three The Hard Way was directed by Gordon Parks Jr. after his success with Superfly and, while it didn't make as much impact, this blaxploitation effort is noteworthy for how its threadbare plot is strung up by frequent car chases, constant explosions, numerous gun fights, cheesy overacting, kung fu grappling, and a very bizarre pretext to feature topless women. Three The Hard Way is pulpy sleaze, but that's part of the fun.
½ October 5, 2015
Jim, Jim and Fred. Jim Brown, Jim Kelly and Fred Williamson, that is, star in this incredibly corny, but very entertaining attempt to make a mainstream blaxploitation action flick with three of the genre's biggest stars. The three battle criminals and even Neo-Nazis in a madder that seemed more like "Austin Powers" than it does "Hell Up in Harlem." Still, despite the unintentional goofiness of the film, the stars all shine, the shootout, martial arts and other assorted action (from legendary stuntman Hal Needham) make for a pretty fun popcorn film. Alex Rocco and Corbin Bernsen as "Boy" also appear in the film. And I also have to say that this film did an excellent job of highlighting quite a few awesome looking station wagons of the 1970s.
February 6, 2015
Directed by Gordon Parks, Jr. (Super Fly (1972)), and written by Eric Bercovici (Hell in the Pacific (1968) and The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972)), this is a hard nosed blaxploitation action film, which predated Friday Foster (1975) with getting as many of the biggest names in blaxploitation together all at once. It doesn't all work, but the plot was copied by Undercover Brother and Black Dynamite. Set in Chicago, record producer Jimmy Lait (Jim Brown) and his girlfriend Wendy (Sheila Frazier), discover Jimmy's friend House (Junero Jennings) dying in the street. It turns out House had been kidnapped and tortured by a gang of white supremacists planning a black genocide, led by the evil Monroe Feather (Jay Robinson). After House dies, Jimmy calls upon his friends Jagger Daniels (Fred Williamson) and Mister Keyes (Jim Kelly) to take down Monroe's gang. However, it gets personal when Monroe has Wendy kidnapped, and it takes Jimmy, Jagger and Mister Keyes to New York to take on the white supremacists once and for all. It's incredibly dated, but there have been worse films made than this, and it does have some good action sequences throughout, but compared to other blaxploitation films throughout, they had all been done elsewhere, and sometimes done better. But this struck a chord with moviegoes at the time, and it did well.
April 11, 2013
With Three the Hard Way, I was really hoping for something special. When I saw the cast, I thought that the only people missing were Pam Grier and Rudy Ray Moore. Even with those two aboard, I don't think it would have helped too much. I know people are probably going to disagree with me on this one, but I thought the movie was boring. The story itself was simple enough to follow, but there weren't any great one-liners, the action was pretty static and dry and the cast nearly put me to sleep. It's a shame too. I was expecting a slam-bang action blaxploitation classic. It certainly seemed that way, plus I had heard that it was a fun movie. So needless to say I was disappointed with its mediocrity, or lack there of. It's not a totally bad film, but based on what I was expecting and what I got, I was let down. It could've been much better.
October 16, 2012
This so far has to be one of my favorite blacksploitation movies that I have seen. It has whitey being completely evil, and Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly all being awesome saving the whole black race from being chemically wiped out, and lets not forget the awesome 70's action.
August 2, 2012
A militant gang of white supremacists plan to taint the US water supply, with the sole aim of wiping out the African race. It is up to Blaxploitation A-Listers Jim Kelly, Jim Brown, and Fred Williamson to stop them.
½ September 25, 2011
Not the best movie, but it's got enough ridiculous explosions, karate and evil white supremacists getting their asses kicked by badass black dudes to be a hilariously good time. One of my favorite blaxploitation movies.
July 30, 2011
Super fun blaxploitation with three of the best in the business.
½ May 20, 2011
This one is a lot of fun. Many really memorable scenes and sparingly there's some truly impressive action. At one part a dude is pulled out of a moving truck and you see the stunt man REALLY fell out that truck and rolled. I miss stunt men and old school car chases and shit. The plot is 1-dimensional, but the movie flies by, despite nothing much really happening. If you're into blaxploitation, you need to see this.
May 20, 2011
Fun movie. Soundtrack is hilarious, too.
May 1, 2011
No, this is not a porno about a three way. The title is referring to three Blaxploitation heroes: Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and... cough cough... Jim Kelly. Hell that's enough stars for three Blaxploitation films! Well two good ones and... errrmmm... and a Jim Kelly one. Well does having three Blaxploitation heavy weights... errmm.... two and Jim Kelly, mean this will have three times the entertainment value? Not quite but it's a hell-of-an entertaining Blaxploitation piece of cheese that's for sure.

Well we have some rich white bigots (typical of these genre films) who have an evil scheme up there sleeves... they want to release a disease into the water systems of three major cities that will only kill off the black population. Now it's up to three old friends (Brown, Williamson and... errrm... Kelly) to use their wits, firepower and biceps to crush these white bigots and save Browns girl.

Director Gordon Parks Jr. broke out into the Blaxploitation genre with the hit "Super Fly" and he nails another home runner with "Three the Hard Way." He loads the film up with some great jive dialogue and kick ass senseless action scenes. He other words he makes this loads of fun. The most bizarre yet amusing sequences involves three dominatrix's hired by our three heroes to get a goon to talk and in turn end up killing him with a heart attack. God I loved that!

The cast is the main attraction here as one would expect. Jim Brown and Fred Williamson play their typical blaxploitation hero types: Brown as the strong, silent type and Williamson as the mouthy, cocky smartass. Even Jim Kelly is far more stomachable than in his other outings in the genre, most notably the bloated "Black Belt Jones" and it's despicable sequel "Hot Potato". The acting is below par but no-one ever accused these guys for being good actors.

The plot is definitely out there.... I mean rich white bigots trying to kill off the world's population of blacks with a disease is pretty controversial and would never fly in today's cinema. This is the early seventies and it's all in good Blaxploitation fun so don't take the plot to heart.

The cast is a Blaxploitation fans dream come true and it's a damn shame Brown and Williamson didn't do very many movies together (Forget about Kelly). Sure the acting can be deplorable at times but these are cult, genre films and in this case the bad acting adds to the charm of the film. This may not be Blaxploitation at its most respectable but it sure is one of the most entertaining. You can't tell me a film with martial arts, gun play, tough guy posturing, afros, a comic book tone and a plague killing plot can't be somewhat fun. For mindless fun "Three the Hard Way" is worth the price of admission.
January 31, 2011
As far as plots go, this one's pretty out there. Utterly insane, the combination of 3 bad-ass muthafuckers isn't quite as blaxploitation nirvana as I'd hoped, but it's still enjoyable nonetheless. Not great, but pretty okay.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2011
Jim Kelly, Jim Brown, and Fred Williamson star in an action film directed by Gordon Parks, Jr. with music by The Impressions!?!? HOLY SHIT!!! This sounds like a blaxploitation dream come true.

For as fun and entertaining as this movie is however, it is a disappointment since it is not the masterpiece it had the potential to be. That's a damn shame too. I still like this movie, even though it failed to live up to my expectations.

The plot involves a group of white supremacists who plot to town the water supplies of three major American cities. The substance they plan to use is lethal...only to African Americans. It's actually a pretty interesting idea. I now know where they came up with the similar plot used in Black Dynamite. The main issue with this film is the script itself. Things are pretty thin and undercooked ,and there's no real character developent. In fact, I can't really remember how the characters are supposed to be connected.

I should probably dock this one some more points, but the csst is good, and they're pretty likeable, and the action rocks. That, and the music is pretty hard to dislike as well. Overall, this is a fair enough action romp, even if it's flawed and leaves something to be desired.
April 21, 2010
"Three the Hard Way" could almost be described as the "Expendables" of blaxploitation films as it provided a chance for three of the most popular black action stars of the seventies - Fred Williamson, Jim Brown and Jim Kelly - to team up together and kick ass. The ridiculous plot involves a white supremacy group that plans to eliminate the black population of the world by contaminating the water supply with a deadly serum; it's never quite made clear how exactly they manage to make this serum lethal to black people who drink it and not whites! This storyline was parodied (and actually made more logical sense since it involved contaminating malt liquor!) in the recent blaxploitation spoof, "Black Dynamite", and a lot of the elements that film poked fun of are present in "Three the Hard Way", such as a thin script that requires a lot of padding, on-the-nose expositional dialogue, and some very noticable continuity errors (especially during the fight scene where Jim Kelly's footwear magically changes from boots to sneakers). However, the movie doesn't try to be anything more than a vehicle for its three stars and, on that level, it definitely succeeds; the whole thing is almost wall-to-wall action, so it never gets boring, and is just 90 minutes of mindless, over-the-top fun for fans of the genre.
March 31, 2010
nah, seriously, what has really changed?! where are my s/heroes!?!?
March 26, 2010
hmmmmm look at the cast in this. Three the Hard Way should have been top tier blaxploitation. Instead what we get here is just ok. Williamson is the best of the lot (big surprise...) and is involved in my favourite sequence in the flick (a car chase and subsequent foot chase/shootout around a Detroit water plant). This movie let me down bigtime but hey, maybe i just need to give it another shot down the line. As of now thou, this is no BUCKTOWN, COFFY, or SHAFT.
March 6, 2010
This movie managed to actually touch me on a personal level, so this review will be rather biased. If you have looked through any of my other film reviews, you will know that I am quite keen on both martial arts and blaxploitation movies. While "Three the Hard Way" was dominately a blaxploitation film, it also featured martial arts performed by the legendary Jim Kelly. It was like the director tried to make this movie just for me. It featured Nazis, had great action sequences, and an awesome Funk soundtrack. So if you are like me and you like blaxploitation films, martial arts movies, and watching lots of Nazis get killed, this is the movie for you.
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