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SCARY MOVIE 3
U.S. Release Date: October 24, 2003
Distributor: Dimension Films
Director: David Zucker
Writer: Jason Friedberg (characters), Craig Mazin, Aaron Seltzer (characters)
Producer: Robert K. Weiss
Composer: James L. Venable
Cast: Kevin Hart, Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Charlie Sheen, Simon Rex, Anthony Anderson, Leslie Nielsen, Eddie Griffin, Queen Latifah (Cameo), Denise Richards (Cameo)
Running Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (pervasive crude and sexual humor, langauge, comic violence and drug references)

Few Signs of Laughs
by C.A. Wolski

Like most recent movie spoofs, Scary Movie 3 is a hit and mostly miss outing with several good gags feebly holding together its patchwork quilt storyline.

A send up of The Ring, The Matrix Reloaded, Signs and, inexplicably, 8 Mile, writers Craig Mazin and Pat Proft weave elements of the four movies in a fast and loose sort of way that makes little sense, but delivers some chuckles. To try to even describe what the movie is about is really impossible, since it's nothing more than a framework with 30 skits strung together. And it really is unnecessary to have seen the movies it is making fun of, since Mazin and Proft, to their credit, are able to home in on the general satiric possibilities of each storyline.

Ostensibly the story follows the efforts of dumb blonde ace TV reporter Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris, The Hot Chick) to stop a video that is killing anyone who watches it. While she's on her personal mission, there is an imminent threat of alien invasion. Throw in George Carlin and a white farm boy rapper, and you can get the idea of what you're in store for.

Several of the jokes are funny, though they veer into the scatological, sexual and just plain violent, with one of the gems being an extended scene of Campbell relating the story of her nephew Cody's birth, which is just one horror after another.

But for every joke that does work, many others don't, including one involving the hapless Cody being cared for by an obvious pedophile Catholic priest. Others, such as a scene involving the clueless President Harris (Leslie Nielsen) and his bodyguards beating up a bunch of disabled people in the mistaken belief that they are aliens are just plain stupid and mean-spirited.

Director David Zucker (Airplane!, The Naked Gun) keeps everything moving, so the unfunny bits aren't belabored. And coming in well under 90 minutes, the movie ends at just about the time it's running out of steam.

The large, all-star cast takes a pretty light and breezy approach to the whole thing, particularly Zucker veteran Nielsen. Queen Latifah as the Oracle and Eddie Griffin as Orpheus in the Matrix send-up are the stand-outs in the entire enterprise. Somebody should build a movie just around these two terrific actors. Faris should also receive some recognition for having endured a part in all three of the Scary movies. She is awfully cute, and, as her turn in Lost in Translation shows, she deserves better than this puff piece.


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