Every couple of years a good spoof comes along just waiting to make fun of all of the pop stuff that has come out in recent years. While we're waiting for that one, there's Scary Movie 3, a moderately funny movie that provides some good laughs, if nothing else.
Back in 2000, the Wayans brothers blew the socks off of the box office with their low budget yet high intake movie Scary Movie, which somewhat parodied the Scream while pushing toilet humor to new levels. They followed that up with Scary Movie 2, which, despite a few good laughs, was nothing special. Now, the Wayans brothers are gone and David Zucker is in - yes, the man behind Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies. The rating has been dropped to a PG-13, as much of the sick humor has been replaced with Zucker's off-the-wall comedy.
I am a guy who likes gross out humor. I am also a guy that likes a good spoof. In the first Scary Movie, the two were blended decently enough, but in the second one, the spoofing was almost lost to the disturbingly crude jokes. So, I was a little relieved when I heard that Zucker was coming in to perhaps rejuvenate the Naked Gun-style movies. Of course, judging by the $50 million opening of this movie this weekend, more than a few people thought that the trailers were pretty damn funny - after all, they featured jokes about The Ring, Signs, 8 Mile and - let's not forget - Michael Jackson.
Unfortunately, things typically don't work out when the best jokes are in the trailer. Expectations are raised, and if the movie can't provide more than two-minutes of jokes, then it is in trouble. Scary Movie 3 isn't nearly that bad - it has moderately funny jokes about half of the time, but it is definitely not as good as people were hoping and expecting it to be. The best jokes really are the ones shown in the previews, and there are very few surprises that really make you laugh in the rest of the movie.
That's not to say that Scary Movie 3 isn't worth seeing - it is, at matinee price - but it could have been a lot better. The movie specifically addresses about five movies and nothing else; there are not a lot of smart innuendos towards other films like there should be. Even though the point of this movie is to make fun of recent horror movies, what's stopping them from spoofing some of the greats, like Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween? Aren't there better movies to spoof than 8 Mile?
Perhaps it is that Zucker's brand of slapstick humor doesn't do it for me anymore, or perhaps it is just that he didn't do that good of job of turning what was on paper into a movie. Someone of the slapstick stuff is funny, but it would have been better had there been more content to back it up. There are just so many movies to spoof, and very few of them show up here.
It is good to see Leslie Nielsen back in a movie, even if he does have a fairly small role. He is one of the funniest characters in the movie. Charlie Sheen does a decent job, but isn't given nearly enough time to do anything too creatively. The most time is spent on Anna Faris, one of the few returning characters from the previous movies. She is pretty, but - let's face it - not the best of actresses. That doesn't really matter in a spoof such as this, but it is much more fun seeing someone like Sheen or Nielsen acting dumb. The other lead character is given to Simon Rex, who somehow is a blend of Joaquin Phoenix in Signs and Eminem in 8 Mile. The main reason I didn't like him is because he is involved in the most boring part of the movie, the spoof on the aforementioned 8 Mile. Zucker drags this skit out for a long time and it is about as unfunny as they come, with exception to the KKK bit at the end. Why 8 Mile was spoofed in a movie like this is beyond me...
Everything being said, scary Movie 3 has its good moments and it has its bad moments. Some of the slapstick comedy is a little much, and not nearly as many movies are spoofed as there should have been. A few scenes really stand out, but most are at least partially shown in the previews. Nevertheless, Scary Movie 3 makes a nice, mindless movie to watch, at least during matinee times or as a rental. I wouldn't spend more than six bucks on it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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