Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: "Scary Movie 4" Just as Bad, but Less Funny

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 72 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Running time: 83 minutes (1 hour, 23 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for crude and sexual humor throughout, some comic violence and language
DIRECTOR: David Zucker
WRITERS: Craig Mazin, Pat Proft, and Jim Abrams; from a story by Craig Mazin
PRODUCERS: Craig Mazin and Robert K. Weiss
EDITORS: Craig Herring and Tom Lewis
COMPOSER: James L. Venable
Razzie Award winner


Starring: Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Craig Bierko, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Hart, Leslie Nielsen, DeRay Davis, Charlie Sheen, Chris Elliot, Molly Shannon, Michael Madsen, Carmen Electra, Dr. Phil McGraw, and Shaquille O’Neal

The subject of this movie review is Scary Movie 4, a 2006 comedy and parody film of science fiction and horror films. It is the fourth film in the Scary Movie franchise and a direct sequel to Scary Movie 3. Scary Movie 4 also ends the story arc that began in the original film, Scary Movie.

Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall), and the rest of the Scary Movie gang are back. Using a parody of the Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds (2005) as a framework, the gang sends-up movies like The Grudge (2004), Brokeback Mountain, The Village (2004), Saw and Saw II, and Million Dollar Baby along with other films, music and current events. Cindy has to solve the mystery of a little boy’s murder if she is going to stop the alien invasion and reclaim the new love of her life, Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko, spoofing Cruise in War of the Worlds).

Scary Movie 4 isn’t as funny as Scary Movie 3, not having nearly the same number of belly laughs 3 had. Director David Zucker, known for his work on such lampoon movies as Airplane! and the Naked Gun franchise, gives Scary Movie 4 a more coherent narrative than he gave the third film. This one actually has a story that attempts to make sense while at the same time satirizing of so many other films and pop culture. However, the determination to “make sense” tames any of the jokes that have potential for being really raucous humor.

The audience with which I saw this film was obviously uncomfortable with or not familiar with Brokeback Mountain, so the gay love jokes fell flat. However, the scenes satirizing The Grudge succeed because they capture that film’s scary weirdness. Still, I’ll never understand why the Wayans Brothers were summarily dismissed from the franchise, because Zucker’s films (3 and 4) are not nearly as good or as funny as Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2. Ultimately, Scary Movie 4 is a lame film that is nothing more than a cheesy video rental.

3 of 10

Saturday, April 15, 2006

2007 Razzie Awards: 1 win: “Worst Supporting Actress” (Carmen Electra, also for Date Movie-2006)

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