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Scary Movie 3

01/12/2003. Contributed by Frank Ochieng

Buy Scary Movie 3 in the USA - or Buy Scary Movie 3 in the UK

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It’s that dubious time once again to indulge in another spoof-starved Scary Movie installment. Sadly, Frank discovers more of the same.

Dimension Films (1 hour 30 minutes). Directed by: David Zucker. Starring: Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Anderson, Simon Rex, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim, Leslie Nielsen, Jenny McCarthy, Pamela Anderson, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, Ja Rule, George Carlin.

It’s that dubious time once again to indulge in another spoof-starved Scary Movie installment. Let’s see…this is the third edition now, huh? Wow, how time flies when you’re being subjected to the same old gimmick about a facetious film franchise that thinks it’s clever by continuously poking fun at some of Hollywood’s recent hits, right?

Well, we get more of the same here in parody puppeteer director David Zucker’s Scary Movie 3. Hey gang, that’s three times the regurgitated chuckles since the original made the scene and ushered in this so-called unavoidable phenomenon that keep popping up like an annoying pimple on an adolescent girl’s face.

Scary Movie 3 Film Review

Sure, most likely Scary Movie 3 will work its tiresome wacky ways on the targeted movie-going audiences at hand (yes teens and twentysomethings, we mean you specifically) and the rest of the demographics will have to simply grin and bear it. So the golden question remains this: When will we be more privileged to welcome the zany retread of a Scary Movie 4? Geez, I’m sure that we can hardly wait for that event, correct?

There was a time when filmmaker Zucker and his comedy cohorts were on course and could do no wrong thanks to classic cut up offerings such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun series. No doubt these satires were off-kilter and spontaneously nutty in their presentation.

And dare I say also original in the hilarity department despite countless spoofs that have arrived before the Zucker-Abrams touch? Well, we’re talking about the yesterday’s manic magic that has worked so effortlessly for Zucker and his creative kookiness. Yet somehow in today’s silly-minded sensibilities, why can’t Zucker (or any moviemaker with mockery on his/her mind) understand that the key ingredient to effective satire is to remain fresh and edgy in its entirety?

That’s pretty much what’s lacking with Scary Movie 3 in that it doesn’t venture beyond the exhausted formula it clings to so predictably—the force feeding of lazy and lame ridiculing of popular flicks that have their own inherent caustic wit. Do you really need the Scary Movie film series to tell you how riotous and overblown ditties such as The Matrix, The Ring, 8 Mile and Signs can be?

Admittedly, there is some guilty pleasure laughs that can be found sporadically in Scary Movie 3 where one cannot help but to relinquish a hearty comical release here or there. However, the spoofy vignettes seem to play on endlessly yet there’s still no real feeling that you’re watching a 90-minute movie but that of a collection of homemade horror-based skits stuffed together in one pointless package. The energy to the madcap madness is noticeably labored and the dumb characterizations try to add their weight to the goofiness that abounds so rapidly.

Scary Movie 3 follows its wicked path, as feeble as that may be, by shredding up some of Tinseltown’s most popular recent films not to mention taking a pot shot at its pop culture personalities as well. Horndogs will eat up the Jenny McCarthy/Pamela Anderson segment (meant to riff on The Ring) as the delicious duo play clueless blond bimbos who teasingly comment on their generous boobs and real life press release faux pas.

Both Charlie Sheen and Simon Rex are right on cue as the pair of brothers from Signs. One of the movie’s strongest and funniest absurd moments involves Sheen and Rex’s turn as the silly-minded siblings who happen to be aided by some hilarious visual high jinx. The Matrix gets the royal treatment of taunting thanks to the laughable confrontation between Queen Latifah’s sassy-mouthed gal and Eddie Griffin’s take on Laurence Fishburne’s Matrix persona.

Anna Faris, the Scary Movie dopey diva whose distinction is that she has been featured in all the series’ episodes thus far, is on board once again in the middle of the wayward slapstick.

All in all, Scary Movie 3 has its raucous tics in place and no one will completely sit there in the audience with a stone face. Zucker may not necessarily bring his trademark comedic A game to the forefront with this shapeless outing but he is savvy enough to incorporate traces of his giggly nonsense that made him the king of comedy from yesteryear.

For instance, drafting the Prince of Parody in the form of Leslie Nielsen (he plays the President in this flick) was a nifty and nostalgic gesture to consider. And the physical gags and intentional dyspeptic dialogue are put to good scrutinizing use. Yet with all this in the works, Zucker still manages to be out of tune and tone with his off-balanced charmer that has its trouble trying to maintain the freshness of its sketchy outrageous naughtiness.

As one could see in Zucker’s last released effort (the insipid My Boss’s Daughter), the strain of trying to parlay a potent parody isn’t as effortless as it once was for the funny-boned filmmaker.

Here’s hoping that Scary Movie 3 and its upcoming follow-ups will take the advice of its departed main star players The Wayans Brothers who were wise enough to skip this particular limping vehicle. You make your presence known for the moment then have the common sense to split and not overstay your welcome.

Hence, this is one frightfest farce that serves up the subversive goofy goodies in tepid spoonfuls.

Frank Ochieng

(c) Frank Ochieng 2003

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