I went to China in October 2006 and purchased Woody Allen's Scoop off the street for $2. It was a pretty crappy copy, but the movie had never intrigued me enough to actually go out and legitimately rent it, so I figured this was the way to go. Still, it took me ten months to actually watch the movie, and now, as the summer of 2007 rolls to an end (already!), I am writing this review.
Scoop stars Scarlett Johansson as a young and attractive journalism major who ends up a participant in an old magician's magic trick. The old magician, who looks a lot like writer/director Woody Allen, isn't a real magician of course, but that doesn't stop lovely young Scarlett from seeing the ghost of a recently murdered journalist who looks a lot like Al Swearengen... er, Ian McShane. He warns them that a handsome millionaire bachelor (Hugh Jackman) is actually a serial killer. So, as an up-and-coming journalist, Scarlett does the only logical thing - she goes undercover to discover the truth, and in the process ends up falling in love with the man she is investigating.
As with most Allen films, Scoop is rather quirky, off-the-wall and certainly dialogue driven. The plot is weird - after all, it's a romantic comedy serial killer movie where the main characters see ghosts. If that sounds too weird for you, then you should probably stop reading now, but if you like Allen films like I do, then proceed. Scoop is by no means Allen's best work, but it's no Hollywood Ending, either. I liked the goofiness of the story, but the plot is pretty minimalist. As a crime thriller, it's pretty stupid, and as a comedy, I've seen funnier. As a blend, it is entertaining enough, but forgettable after that.
Scoop is not the most memorable of Allen films, but it has enough laughs to last for an hour and a half. Johansson and Jackman should be challenged more than this, but Scoop should appeal to Allen enthusiasts well enough.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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