(Rule #3 is one of five made-up films generated during PoopReading.com's recent Movie Draft.)
What does Joe Mulder have on George Clooney? It must be something pretty amazing, as I can't see any reason why Clooney would have agreed to star in Mulder's sophomoric sophomore effort, Rule #3.
After wowing audiences and critics alike with last year's surprise smash Americano, Mulder's second feature-length film is an extremely poor man's Ocean's 11...starring Danny Ocean himself! Clooney's performance is professional and crisp. Give him credit, some folks look like they know they are in a dog when they are in a dog. Clooney milks all the charm he can out of the stone-dead story which begins – wait for it – with Clooney's character Jerry getting out of jail where he is picked up by his grifter pal. Have you seen this movie start before? I have... back when it was Ocean's 11.
This time, the pal is Bristol Pete (Colin Firth? Yup. Colin Firth). Mercifully for him, Brad Pitt must have been adopting a child or suing a British tabloid the week they shot this. Firth is woefully miscast. He shows flashes of being able to play a rube, but there's too much going on behind Firth's eyes given how little is actually going on in Pete's head.
It's at Jerry's "you may now feel free to drop the soap" party that we are introduced to Juliana, played by Mercy Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock. Bullock phones in her role as though she thought she was shooting Miss Congeniality 3. Even she seems bored by the obvious (spoiler alert!...if you are brain dead) twist in which she seems to be on Jerry's side only to turn the screws to Jerry over some money Jerry told her he had squirreled away before heading to the joint.
The rest of the movie unfolds over Pete's desire to have Jerry invest the $250k he stashed before his trip to the slammer. Here is where the odd title comes into play. We learn that Rule #1 is "be careful who you trust" while Rule #2 is "but you've got to trust someone." What's Rule #3?
In a way, the answer is Lulu (the only bright spot in 98 minutes of darkness, Gabourey Sidibe). The daughter of a friend Ocean, er, Jerry met in the joint, Sidibe's earnest, but wary Lulu gives the film a bit of emotional heft and a great scene – the only good thing in Rule #3's infamous trailer – involving Sidibe, Clooney, a mechanical bull, and a cocky local who looks a bit like Pat Sajak.
With some plodding plot stretches (not quite making their way to twists), Juliana and Pete's efforts to make off with Jerry's supposed ill-gotten booty lead us to learn Rule #3, which is the kind of rule your douchebag uncle might have made up during that summer you caddied for him, his boss, and their mistresses at a restricted golf course in the northeast. Pete failed Rule #1 with his choice for Rule #2 while Jerry's understanding of the rules brings him the money he never had.
Needless to say, there will be no Rule #4. Here's hoping that the next time Joe Mulder wants to dial up a smart, fast-paced caper, he calls Danny Ocean instead of Jerry Briscoe.
Rule #3 is rated R. I can only imagine that the reason for the rating is that kids under 17 shouldn't have to see this huge piece of shit.