Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Lewis Brookbank (Dominic Purcell) is a loser.  He doesn’t seem to have a job that we can tell, he drinks too much and doesn’t seem to own a decent razor but he sure loves his wife Janice (Roxana Zal).  She don’t love him too much no more though, and after a seriously one sided love making session she’s had enough and informs Lew it’s time she moved on.  Lewis REALLY loves this woman though and the next time we see him he’s standing on a small yacht over his dead wife and her dead lover, both suffering from blunt bullet trauma, and he’s holding the gun.  Next thing we know Lewis is taking that boat out to sea, dumping the bodies but leaving his piece behind.

Some time later Lewis has relocated to a new life in some Podunk town in California making signs, when he overhears a plot by a pair of people to commit a crime.  Ever the scammer, Lewis confides in his girlfriend Rita (Joy Bryant) that he’s going to somehow take advantage of this kidnapping scheme planned by one Ralph Hagen (Desmond Harrington) and his girlfriend Isabel (Ali Larter).  Ralph’s more mature wife Florence (Gina Gershon) is loaded you see and treats Ralph like total garbage so they have plan to get a cool million and then off the lovely woman.

The simple plan becomes complicated by the sudden appearance of one Herbert Clarkson (Dwight Yoakum) who is completely familiar with Lew’s past and also has in his possession the gun that he claims Lewis committed the murders with.  He doesn’t want to cause Lewis and his girl too much trouble and doesn’t want in on the kidnapping, he just wants to know where in the hell is body of the dude he shot on the boat.

Now the life of Lewis Brookbank gets way too complicated on a number of fronts as he tries to extort money from Ralph and his girl, take care of a terminally horny kidnapped woman, keep a murderous ex-country and western singer at bay at then it also looks like his girl is up to something as well.  What’s a double homicide committing felon on the run to do?

One of things I had read before actually sitting down to watch ‘3-Way’ were comments to the effect of ‘This movie was great because Dominic Purcell is hot’. Allrightythen. Though I’m not here to discount the ‘hotness’ of Mr. Purcell but I do challenge that however hot he may be to women and gay dudes, it can’t in any way surpass the combined hotness that Ali Larter and Joy Bryant, both of whom show a little skin in this movie, should present to men and lesbian chicks and yet I easily got over their hotness to recognize ‘3-Way’ as crap. Okay, crap is probably a little bit too harsh as this movie wasn’t completely unwatchable and did have some marginal entertainment value but director Scott Ziehl seemed to be going for a noir type film, one along the lines of ‘Body Heat’ or ‘Body Double’, and to that end the movie was a miserable failure.

Dominic Purcell has this wide-eyed confusion thing going on as an actor that works wonders for the dude in his TV shows ‘John Doe’ and ‘Prison Break’ but damn if it doesn’t work here. This movie needed a pre plastic surgery Mickey Rourke circa 1986, or at least somebody who could pull off the whole grizzled, underhanded, tough guy role and though he may be ‘hot’, no amount of razor stubble helped convince me that Mr. Purcell was that character. Another thing the movie was missing was a decent fatal female and I’m not even sure which one of them was supposed to be that character. I guess it was supposed to be Joy Bryant, and though she in one wide eyed brown skinned beauty, nothing about Joy Bryant says ‘danger’, and I’m not even sure she was even supposed to be dangerous. Gina Gershon on the other hand can do Femme Fatale in her sleep, but that wasn’t her role. Her role was that of the insufferable bitch, which she can also do in her sleep. Ali Larter can probably do the fatal female but she was saddled with the role of stupid bimbo, and again nothing about Ali Larter’s character or persona translates into ‘stupid’.

Probably the biggest problem with ‘3-Way’ is that title suggest that it’s some kind erotically charged thriller but nothing could be further from the truth as there are only a couple of sex scenes and they didn’t add a damn thing to the story and could have been completely discarded. I’m thinking Ms. Bryant, Ms. Gershon and Ms. Larter could pretty much turn most men into virtual puppets with what they bring to the table but all of that potential sordidness was completely left out this story. And please don’t ask me to explain the ending and that how they explained all those dead bodies because I’ m still waiting to sort that one out on my own.

‘3-Way’ did have the fact that it wasn’t dull going for it and it did have some rather lovely ladies among it’s cast and of course the always ‘hot’ Dominic Purcell but as a genre picture it completely missed the mark.

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