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Trois 2: Pandora’s Box (2002) – DVD Review

Trois 2 DVD cover art


Written by: Gregory Ramon Anderson & Rob Hardy
Directed by: Rob Hardy
Starring: Michael Jai White, Monica Calhoun, Kristoff St. John, Chrystale Wilson


  • Running audio commentary with director Hardy and producer William Packer
  • Featurette: Sexual Obsession: The Making of Pandora’s Box

Released by: Sony Pictures
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Just rent real porn.

Mia DuBois (Calhoun) is a walking cliché–a successful therapist with an unsuccessful marriage. Her husband, Victor (St. John), is more interested in working on his laptop than on her. So she is very receptive to hearing about the wild sex life that her new client Tammy (Wilson) and Tammy’s husband enjoyed, before he was murdered. Mia even accepts an invitation from Tammy to Pandora’s Box, a no holds barred secret club of sex, drugs, and even more sex. She falls under the spell of a dark, handsome stranger named Hampton (White), a walking streak of sex. But is Hampton all he seems? It there more going on than just hot, sweaty sex?

[ad#longpost]Trois 2: Pandora’s Box is of slightly better quality than the usual soft core porn usually found on cable channels like Cinemax, but only just. The plot is typically filled with lust and betrayal but important plot points are just dropped on us out of the blue with no real connection to what has gone before. The characters are made to act stupid to further the plot. For example, Mia’s prenuptial agreement states that if she has an affair, her husband can get half her money, including a $20,000,000 trust fund. So of course she has an affair. This story is unfortunately about par with so-called “erotic thrillers.”

The casting is interesting because all the principle actors are black, not the usual silicone bimbos you see in these movies. And the filmmakers make sure not to overplay this fact and allow the characters to be themselves. The acting is of a better quality than most of these movies, but considering the usual level these movies are at, this is faint praise. The sex scenes give off the passion that usually comes from such an activity, but it’s all titillation designed to keep your interest when the movie started to bog down. If I wanted to see people having sex, I’d just get porn.

Trois 2 screen capture 1

The featurette included in the disc covers the filmmakers realizing how cool it could be to make their own movies. It tells how much effort was put into making the film by creating long biographies for the characters, paying particular attention to lighting, costuming, and set design, and working to make the actors comfortable to allow more expression. Even with the time and money pressures, they toiled to make this movie look good. The director and the producer go into more detail in the commentary by revealing the reasons behinds actors’ positions, the choice of clothing and color schemes. They also point out how they reused locations to save money because they’re “independent filmmakers”. They stress this a lot. I sorta felt bad that they put all this effort into such an average movie. However, after the millionth “shout out” to someone involved in the production, my sympathy was running low. So if you want a little erotica and feel too sleazy to get real porn, you too should check out Trois 2: Pandora’s Box.

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