After the painfully overrated “Match Point,” I was basically ready to welcome anything else that Allen could offer us. Sadly, going out of New York and onto the UK for his comedy thrillers has worked against Allen, and he’s pretty out of his element, as it becomes apparent with “Scoop.” All essence of genius and life is gone, and every one liner that Allen hurls our way manages to fall flatter and flatter to the point where it becomes rather pathetic. Especially when you consider the fact he’s now resorted to remaking his own movies, with “Scoop” being a loose remake of “Manhattan Murder Mystery.”
It hurts him also that he has the wretched Scarlett Johansson teaming with him, a woman who couldn’t even muster up life in “Match Point.” This second effort tin the English territories is much brighter and quicker than the previous, and Allen attempts to revisit the stories of “The Thin Man” by featuring two folks who are forced to investigate a millionaire they suspect is a serial killer. Her character is often obnoxious and rather irritating to watch, while she fails to catch up with Allen who tries anxiously to create chemistry between the two. But he fails and instead creates what I can describe as two numbskulls running around for ninety minutes trying to unveil a mystery that simply isn’t interesting enough.
And worst of all, the actual talents of the film are horribly wasted, with Ian McShane appearing for a small period of time, along with Hugh Jackman who is almost passable when you consider the importance he plays in the film’s premise. Allen sets down on Johansson also failing to build a sexy geek with her round Thelma glasses, and charisma, but she’s so darn unlikable, we really don’t care how she looks. “Scoop” has an utterly goofy climax that fails on every aspect, and really lacks the punch Allen’s past films had when he teamed with actually talented actresses and created something called chemistry. Trust me, I know chemistry, and what we see on-screen isn’t it. It’s very rare that I say this, but “Scoop” is probably one of the most annoying Woody Allen movies I’ve ever seen. “Scoop” is a poor man’s Woody Allen concoction with irritating characters, poor performances, and a mystery lacking, well, mystery.