Scary Movie 3 Review
By Shawn McKenzie 10/27/2003
Why do other critics always hate spoofs? Is it because it is the easiest form of comedy? Sometimes, when done correctly, it can be the funniest form as well. As jumbled as the storyline is, I believe Scary Movie 3 did it correctly.
Please forgive me if this plot description doesn’t make any sense. The movie opens with parochial school girls Becca and Kate (Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy) talking about a tape that kills you seven days after you watch it, a la The Ring. Kate had seen the tape a week ago, and the mysterious tape killer kills her. Meanwhile, a crop formation spelling out “Attack Here” with an arrow pointing to the farmhouse of Tom (Charlie Sheen) is formed, a la Signs. Tom is a former clergyman who left the church after Trooper Champlin (Camryn Manheim) informs him that a careless driver named Sayaman (Ajay Naidu) has pinned his wife Annie (Denise Richards) against a tree, dooming her to die. Tom’s brother George (Simon Rex) is a white, wannabe rapper who has a dream to go to the big city and win a rap contest, a la 8 Mile. With help from his friend, rap promoter Mahalik (Anthony Anderson), and his #1 fan CJ (Kevin Hart), he hopes to defeat Fat Joe (appearing as himself) in the rap battle. Tom’s daughter Sue (Jianna Ballard) goes to the same school in the big city as Cody (Drew Mikuska), the psychic orphaned nephew of Scary Movie alumnus Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris.) Cindy is now an anchorwoman, alongside co-anchor Ross Giggins (Jeremy Piven), and she wants to investigate Tom’s crop formations. Her boss, Carson Ward (Timothy Stack), doesn’t want her to do the story, because it doesn’t involve skin, violence, or weather. When her best friend and teacher of Sue and Cody, the only other Scary Movie alumnus Brenda Meeks (Regina Hall), is killed by the creepy girl from the videotape named Tabitha (Marny Eng), Cindy thinks it is related to the crop formations. Cindy meets George at Brenda’s funeral, being held by Brenda’s mother and father (Patricia Idlette and William Taylor), and they instantly fall in love. While Cindy leaves Cody with Father Muldoon (Darrell Hammond), she goes to see Aunt Shaneequa, a.k.a. La’Quesha, a.k.a. The Oracle (Queen Latifah), and her boyfriend Orpheus (Eddie Griffin) to get some answers. Aunt Shaneequa steers Cindy towards a lighthouse, where Cindy meets the Architect (George Carlin), who tells her that the tape got around when he accidentally returned it to Blockbuster instead of a rented copy of Pootie Tang. With the possibility that the world may be invaded by aliens, President Harris (Leslie Nielsen), Secret Service Agent Thompson (Ja Rule), and Harris’ political advisor John Wilson (D.L. Hughley) eventually get involved in the whole mess.
If you’re saying, “Huh?”…watching the movie itself won’t make much sense. The plot was just an excuse to spoof as many hit movies as possible, and this time they don’t all even land in the area of horror/sci-fi. The first two movies crammed as many spoofs as possible as well, but they followed one storyline. The first one was essentially a Scream retelling, and the second one was a haunted house story.
I know…you thought I had started out praising this movie. Well…I am, because what they did manage to put on the screen made me laugh throughout it. Sure, it was just a bunch of little spoofs mashed together into one jumbled tale, but I still liked it. In fact, I thought it was funnier than Scary Movie 2. It’s too bad that the Wayans Brothers weren’t involved, but I think that it has less to do with an argument over the creativity and more that they didn’t want to be pigeonholed into making just these movies. Having the man who essentially created the modern spoof movie, David Zucker, direct this one was a great idea. Zucker, along with his brother Jerry and their partner Jim Abrahams, created the worlds of the Airplane and Naked Gun movies. In this movie, he manages to reference Airplane by having President Harris give his line, “I just wanna wish you good luck, we’re all counting on you” to some of the other characters. I have read that he is helming Scary Movie 4, and I hope he has a script this time with a little more direction.
Scary Movie 3 may have been a plot mess, but it was comedy gold. I wouldn’t mind seeing a yearly or bi-yearly Scary Movie, mainly because spoofs crack me up. They should have a different director after every two films go by though, just to keep it fresh. Also, as funny as the 8 Mile stuff was, they really do need to keep it in the worlds of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. The original title for this chapter was Scary Movie 3: Episode I - Lord of the Brooms, yet there was no Harry Potter or Star Wars references, and only one minor Lord of the Rings reference. It would be funny to see them go after this rash of “killer hillbilly” movies that have come out this year, like House of 1000 Corpses, Wrong Turn, and the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Oh…it also might be cool to see them make it R rated again. When you’re doing a spoof, please go all out and go for the R…don’t wuss out for the MPAA and make it PG-13-friendly!
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