Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: "Scary Movie 3" Quite Bad, but Funny

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 158 (of 2003)

Scary Movie 3 (2003)
Running time: 84 minutes (1 hour, 24 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual humor, language, comic violence and drug references
DIRECTOR: David Zucker
WRITERS: Craig Mazin and Pat Proft (based upon characters created by Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, and Aaron Seltzer)
PRODUCER: Robert K. Weiss
EDITOR: Malcolm Campbell and Jon Poll
COMPOSER: James L. Venable

COMEDY with elements of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi

Starring: Anna Faris, Simon Rex, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Marny Eng, Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Piven, Camryn Manheim, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Leslie Nielsen, D.L. Hughley, Ja Rule, George Carlin, Master P, Macy Gray, Redman, Method Man, Raekwon, RZA, Fat Joe, and Simon Cowell

The subject of this movie review is Scary Movie 3, a 2003 comedy film and parody of science fiction and horror films. It is the first film in the Scary Movie franchise not to feature members of the Wayans family.

Scary Movie 3 has loads and loads of belly laughs, but it is shockingly lame, dull, and an all out boring film, which gets worse as its nearly incomprehensible story lethargically crawls to the end. This installment of the franchise mainly targets The Ring and Signs for a good skewering or is that screwing? The Matrix and 8 Mile also fall in for a manhandling; the former parody is mildly funny while the latter is surprisingly sprightly and hilarious. The film, however, is one long gag reel superimposed over a deplorably bad movie.

The story this time, as it may be, has Cindy (Anna Faris) and her lame heartthrob George (Simon Rex) investigating crop circles and a killer ghost from a haunted videocassette. Somehow, it’s all tied together, and Cindy also has to help President Harris (Leslie Nielsen) stop an alien invasion.

If this doesn’t sound like much, it’s because Scary Movie 3 isn’t very much. The presence of so many stars in small roles and cameos is very nice, and some, like Anthony Anderson, Pamela Anderson, and Jenny McCarthy, actually make the film worth seeing. The cast, like the raunchy humor and endless sight gags, don’t exactly save the movie, but they can make you laugh, and in the end, those laughs might be the only reason to justify seeing this lame duck. David Zucker, part of the team responsible for Airplane and Naked Gun, lavishes Scary Movie 3 with his trademark gag-a-minute style, and it works to an extent.

I must really emphasize that this film can cause some hard and deep laughing, but I was also very shocked at how often tasteless and tactless the film was. Jokes that involve violating a corpse at a wake and pedophilia on the part of Catholic priest cross the line. It’s not so much that this kind of humor seems desperate; it’s that the filmmakers seem so willfully shameless and tasteless. Some things are not funny. They are sacred or taboo for reasons that are important to a society. It’s not that such things cannot be discussed; it’s how they are discussed. To use them as jokes is the sign of a weak, unimaginative mind – a selfish and immature person determined and desperate to get what he wants at any cost.

That said – I laughed a lot, and I cringed behind my arms almost as much. Scary Movie 3 won’t ever be listed among the great comedies. At best, it’s a temporary and exasperating thrill that is forgotten as soon as the film fades to black.

3 of 10

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