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3 Strikes is a 2000 American screwball comedy film written and directed by DJ Pooh. The film stars Brian Hooks as Rob Douglas, a man just released from a one-year sentence in jail, who already has two strikes to his name. Since he is living under California's three strikes law, Rob decides to go straight and leave the street life alone. However, things go horribly wrong for him as he gets involved in an altercation with the police upon the day of his release. The plot centers on Rob as he evades the police until he can prove his innocence, for fear that he will be put away for good with a third strike. David Alan Grier, Faizon Love, and N'Bushe Wright co-star.

3 Strikes
3 Strikes Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDJ Pooh
Produced byMarcus Morton
Written byDJ Pooh
Music byStewart Copeland
CinematographyJohn Simmons
Edited byJohn Carter
Distributed byMGM Distribution Co.
Release date
  • March 1, 2000 (2000-03-01)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.4 million[1]
Box office$9.8 million[1]



Robert Douglas (Brian Hooks) is in prison for one of two felonies he has previously committed. While in prison, he watches to a local news report that states California has instituted the habitual offenders law, commonly referred to as the "three-strikes" law, which will put offenders with three felonies in prison for a minimum of twenty-five years. On his last day in prison, Robert is ecstatic about being released, informing his girlfriend, Juanita (N'Bushe Wright), of such and contacting his friend, Tone (Faizon Love) to pick him up after he gets out.

On the way to pick up Robert, Tone stops to pick up a woman on the street and takes her home. Tone tells his friend, J.J. (De'Aundre Bonds), to pick Robert up in his place. Shortly after leaving prison, while on the way to check in with Robert's probation officer, the pair are pulled over by police; J.J. reveals that the car they are driving is stolen and, unwilling to surrender, he begins shooting at the cops. Knowing he will be convicted for his third and final felony offense, Robert flees on foot. As he is trying to escape himself, J.J. is wounded from a shot to the buttocks and is taken into custody. Robert escapes pursuit by hiding at a backyard party and, soon after returning home, learns he has been identified and implicated in the shooting as a suspect. Detective Jenkins (David Alan Grier) leads the investigation.

While in the hospital, J.J. calls his friend, Blue (Barima McKnight), and berates Robert for leaving him during the shooting, telling Blue that he plans to peg Robert as the shooter when the police come to interview him. The call is recorded on voice mail at Blue's home. J.J. antagonizes the man guarding his room, who then lets a homosexual janitor that was ogling J.J. from afar into the room. Unable to defend himself, it is assumed J.J. is sexually assaulted by the janitor.

At home, Robert receives a call from Tone. Parked outside Robert's house, Tone blames him for leaving J.J. by himself during the shootout, and tells him he plans to pass the word around the neighborhood for everyone to be on the lookout for him, insinuating there would be repercussions. Robert reaches out to his probation officer for help in proving his innocence, but is told that his best option is to simply turn himself in.

Robert gets into a heated argument with his father (George Wallace) and is kicked out of the house, but runs into his friend, Mike (E-40), who lends Robert enough money for him and Juanita to get a hotel room. Detective Jenkins and Officer Roberts (Dean Norris) stop by Robert's parent's house, but are turned away without a warrant to search the premises.

The following morning, Robert is informed by his mother that the police are searching for him, but more importantly that a woman named Dahlia (Mo'Nique) has information that is critical to proving his innocence and keeping himself out of jail: the tape recording of J.J.'s call to Blue. She tells Robert to meet him at her house. Robert meets up with Mike once more, and asks Mike to set him up with a good lawyer.

At her home, Dahlia agrees to hand over the tape, but reveals she's had a crush on Robert since high school, and blackmails him into letting her have her way with him for the tape. Begrudgingly, Robert accepts her proposal. Having witnessed Robert enter Dahlia's house, Blue - Dahlia's brother - calls Tone, who brings several of his goons over to his location. As Robert sneaks out with the tape, Tone and his people are there to meet him, and begin to jump him. Just as quickly as it begins, the police show up and send a dog after Robert.

Robert manages to get to his car, and a high-speed chase ensues. After being cornered in an alley by Detective Jenkins and several other pursuing units, Robert attempts to give himself up, but Jenkins begins shooting anyway; in the confusion, Robert manages to get away again, and is picked up by Mike. Chased by police cars and surveilled by helicopters, Robert's chase is broadcast across every news network; he tells Mike to head to a church where he has told the lawyer Mike set him up with, Mr. Libowitz (Phil Morris), he will hand himself over to the authorities. The media and dozens of spectators are there as he arrives. Robert manages to be taken into custody without any harm done to him.

At his trial, the judge believes the tape recording clearly proves Robert was not the shooter and was completely unaware that the vehicle he and J.J. were in at the time was stolen. The felony charges against him are dismissed, and he avoids being convicted of a crime that would have put him behind bars under the "three-strikes" law. However, the opposition points out that Robert did not check in with his probation officer after leaving prison, and Robert is sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating his parole.

Before court is adjourned, Robert's father tells him that he will personally pick him up after he is released. The epilogue states that Rob was eventually released from prison early due to overcrowding.


Cameo appearancesEdit


Box officeEdit

The film opened at #12 at the North American box office making $3,684,704 USD in its opening weekend.[1]

Critical responseEdit

The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 0% based on 29 reviews with a weighted average of 2.31/10 and the consensus that it "lacks direction and its low-brow humor isn't even that funny".[2] Metacritic rated it 11/100 based on 16 reviews, indicating "Overwhelming dislike".[3] Joe Leydon of Variety called it "exuberantly rude and crude, but generally more frantic than genuinely funny".[4]


A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on February 22, 2000 by Priority Records. It peaked at the 190th position on the Billboard 200 and number 52 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.[citation needed] The film's score was composed by Stewart Copeland.


  1. ^ a b c "3 Strikes". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  2. ^ "3 Strikes (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
  3. ^ "3 Strikes". Metacritic. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  4. ^ Leydon, Joe (2000-03-01). "Review: '3 Strikes'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-06-12.

External linksEdit