Once rumored to have Kevin Smith on board as screenwriter and helmer of the franchise, we have now embarked on “Scary Movie 3.” Now directed by David Zucker, a professional, the man behind “Airplane!,” he directs this time taking the place of the Wayans brothers, and boy am I thankful for the change. If part two and their plans for part three were any indicator, the Wayans ran out of material for spoofing, and the change is most welcome. Now spoofing films like “8 mile”, alien fare “Signs” which the plot revolves around, pop culture phenomenon like “American Idol”, horror films like “The Others”, “The Ring”, and mega blockbusters like “The Matrix”, “Scary Movie 3” has a more fresh new feeling this time around, it has almost a sense of professionalism the Wayans had a hard time instilling.
Rather than making an honest spoof of horror, they merely just threw one reference after another. Zucker adds a lot more and I was optimistic this time around despite the crushing disappointment of “Scary Movie 2”. The opening to “Scary Movie”? Obvious, but good. The opening to “Scary Movie 2”? Hilarious! The opening to “Scary Movie 3”? Stupid, stupid, and, ridiculous. I’ve never seen such an unfunny opening before with the silicon twins Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson spoofing themselves (How original), and overacting in their attempt to act goofy and fighting with pillows, ugh. Watching Pamela Anderson’s boobs nearly explode from her shirt is not sexy anymore, so please, spare us. I just have to say, that the Wayan’s leaving was a very welcome change to the comedy of this spoof.
Leave it to the professionals like David Zucker, the genius behind “Airplane!” to get it right, but god he hardly prefects it. A lot of the jokes are hit and miss and when they’re miss, boy do they miss. Many of the gags go on for wa-a-ay too long without ending gracefully or suddenly, instead it drags on, just like the funeral gag which was not only annoying but looked like it really stretched for the comedy to get audiences laughing, ugh, and I think I saw that scene better done in “Baseketball” which wasn’t funnier, but done much better. Then there are the gags which are so obvious, including the opening (Pamela Anderson spoofing her sex tape, how original!), and the unfunny Michael Jackson gag where he and Sheen fight for no particular reason but to make audiences see what its like to beat a dead horse.
But worst of all, unfortunately, this suffers from what all other spoofs suffer from: it eventually runs its course and runs out of material and halfway through plummets into a barrage of really unfunny jokes (what the hell was up with those crappy looking aliens?). The second half of the film, as I guessed, was really lame, and really unfunny as we see what the aliens are all about and learn what it’s like when screenwriters run out of jokes. This time around, crop circles begin appearing in cornfields around the country, and Cindy returns yet again to face them off in her usual bubble headed fashion while trying to discover the origin of a tape that kills people in seven days… seven regular days… not business days and holidays… seven regular days starting the moment you receive the call.
Anyway, Cindy is pulling double duty this time around now working as a news reporter, and Anna Faris is back on board with her usual laugh out loud delivery and ineptitude while witnessing the carnage along with her creepy accident prone nephew. She continues with her usual bubble headed husky lisp and clueless expression audiences love, and Faris is in rare form here. Faris has a knack for comedy despite her dramatic aspirations and she’s the only character from the films that have been so fun to watch… well, there’s also Regina Hall, who returns as the hilarious Brenda who now works as a teacher–Ms. Brenda, and Hall is hilarious as always with her crude screaming and light high pitched whisper. Brenda and Cindy attempt to decode the mystery and Faris is just so much fun to watch, I couldn’t help but laugh at even the lamest jokes–even her obligatory ESP/ESPN joke.
There’s an instant jump from the opener as Charlie Sheen takes center stage in yet another spoof (his previous being the mediocre “Hot Shots”) and he’s another very welcome addition spoofing Mel Gibson’s character in “Signs”, and the writers go to town on the film, my favorite being the laugh out loud spoof of the whipping camera movements Shyamalan perfected. Watching Sheen get dizzy as the camera looked around was hilarious to watch, and Sheen delivers, once again, his deadpan expressions and one-liners that just made me belt out in laughter reacting to his daughter screaming which coincidentally stopped every time he acknowledges it, and his very slow attempt to understand that his wife is dying. And, of course, to help Sheen there’s the always funny Simon Rex. Rex is just great here, and he’s the best thing about this film.
His non-stop inept reactions to people, his attempt to act like a gangsta and, my favorite, Rex’ announcement of an unfortunate death to his niece Sue (“People are dying all around you!!”) which was just laugh out loud, drop to the floor funny. Rex is the best thing here as is the cast with the non-stop funny pop culture references and we have veteran Leslie Nielsen being as funny as always and there are cameos from a bunch of comedians including George Carlin to Darrell Hammond to D.L. Hughley. It won’t change the way movies are made with its hit and miss gags, but it’s better than the second film and the additions of new actors to the cast, new gags, and a new better director make this a lot of fun to watch in the long run.