3-Way (2004) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

3-Way is a twisting noir thriller based on a 1963 Gil Brewer novel called Wild to Possess. It was directed by Scott Ziehl, who most recently did Cruel Intentions 3.

Dominic Purcell plays Lew, a drifter who is down on his luck. In a flashback, the prologue shows Lew walking onto a power boat and discovering the dead bodies of his wife (Roxana Zal) and her lover, apparently not long after the wife left him. Having a criminal record and knowing full well that he will be the #1 suspect in the double murder, he takes the boat out to sea, sinks the bodies with the boat's anchor, then abandons the boat, rows back to shore in a dinghy, and disappears from mainstream society.

The story returns to the present. Lew is working at a loser job, planting unauthorized signs on the side of a lonely highway in the dead of night, when he hears the unmistakable sounds of human fornication in the near distance. He investigates and finds a car parked in a secluded spot, its inhabitants (Ali Larter and Desmond Harrington) simultaneously having sex and planning a crime. The couple intends to kidnap the guy's rich wife, then kill her after they get the money from her family. After Lew overhears the plot, he realizes that he can be a good Samaritan and an entrepreneur in one quick stroke, by employing a plot in which he re-kidnaps the rich wife, and uses her to get the money for himself.

That was a pretty good plot right there, and was probably complicated enough on its own, but the story gets much more complex, perhaps too complex. Someone from Lew's past shows up, gets wind of the plot, and wants in on the action. Lew's girlfriend (Joy Bryant) finds out about the plot and may or may not double-cross him. The kidnapped wife (Gina Gershon) is a real pain in the tush, and not at all grateful for Lew's having saved her life. The six main characters (the two kidnappers, Lew, Lew's girlfriend, the guy from the past, and the kidnapped wife) form and re-form alliances, often double-crossing each other, pretending to, or appearing to.


  • Roxana Zal - breasts
  • Joy Bryant - breasts
  • Ali Larter - buns
  • Dominic Purcell -buns

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic

  • no features

It is not a noir classic, but it isn't a bad little mystery for a straight-to-vid. Production values are solid, the acting is satisfactory, the plot is fairly interesting, there are no deal-killing plot holes, and the characters aren't completely generic. The only major weakness is that the plot gets excessively serpentine.

There's nothing so vivid or original as to knock you out, but you should find it to meet your minimum standard if you like the genre.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. Not enough IMDb voters for a score. It should end up in the fives.
  • Straight to video
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. Not an inspired noir thriller, but a watchable one for genre fans.

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