Published Oct 01, 2003With the brothers Wayans out of the mix, the reigns of the Scary Movie franchise was given to David Zucker, most famous for the Airplane pictures. Sounds promising, but with 20 years worth of both evolution and destruction in comedy, what we're left to witness is The Naked Gun meets Dude, Where's My Car? casting calls for a handful of B-list actors to get their three-minute cameo in an admittedly funny film that's also suffering from experimental humour that the film board thinks you might find amusing. Hopefully you'll realise that the idiotic abuse and decapitation of a woman's body at her wake isn't exactly one of the more memorable comedic performances of late.
All the original cast is now pretty-much deceased except for the new lead of the trilogy, Cindy (Anna Faris). Given the duty and determination to battle the evils of the city, she's joined by hip-hop farm boy George and his father, Tom (Charlie Sheen), in a recreation of the alien invasion of Signs. Also heavily tacked to this horror-spoof is The Ring, leaving Cindy seven days to save the world from unidentified flying objects while doing battle with the decomposing girl from the well. Throw in some cameos from gigantic-breasted Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy in school girl uniforms, Denise Richards pinned to a tree by a car and an incredible amount of repetitive slapstick and we have ourselves a Zucker-enhanced film tailored towards the MTV generation. Even the king of oddball spoofs, Leslie Neilson as the President of the United States, can't make you feel as if you're watching something more than the brand of comedy that'll be deemed "outrageous" and "uncensored" when the DVD hits shelves.
There are definitely some good moments in the film, such as Queen Latifah and Eddie Griffen as Aunt Shaneequa and Orpheus, inspired by The Matrix, in their domesticated apartment dwelling. Ja Rule pumping vintage Tupac in his secret service ear-piece, Fat Joe's recreation of the extreme intimidation of a battle MC from 8 Mile and Charlie Sheen's overall deadpan performance are definitely moments that should have been all over the script. Anna Faris also deserves credit for stepping up in the ranks of the franchise, taking the heroin role and carrying it off well in a deserved lead performance. There's just too much idiotic slapstick and low-brow comedy in Scary Movie, however, which is fine when executed well but embarrassing when it's simply not funny. The spoof genre in which Scary Movie is continuing is something welcome in film but is also a dying breed, so it's a shame to see potential being thrown down the toilet. Zucker's style is an interesting angle, but there's going to have to be a lot of retooling if they want to keep Scary Movie from becoming Meatballs instead of Spaceballs. (Dimension/Mirimax/Alliance Atlantis)