***Official SCARY MOVIE 3 Review Thread***

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Burke Strickland, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

    Jul 31, 1997
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    Here's my take on Scary Movie 3 (SM3): it is solidly in the bad-taste-is funny, sight-gags-galore spoof-a-rama tradition of Airplane! (the same director did both). Unlike Scary Movie 2, which was a tired re-hash of the "original" Scary Movie, (which I enjoyed), SM3 treads new ground, parodying not just horror flicks (The Ring), but also sci-fi (Matrix/Matrix Reloaded), rapper bio (8 Mile) and occult mystery thrillers (The Sixth Sense, Signs) and probably a few more I didn't identify while I was laughing out loud.

    The cast was well chosen -- it is uncanny, for instance, how closely the characters in SM3's parody of Signs resembled the originals. And Pamela Anderson brought a certain "bounce" to her part(s). :>) Leslie Nielsen was priceless as the US President, and Queen Latifa once again demonstrates why she is so hot in Hollywood right now. (But one of her funny lines in the trailer didn't make it to the final cut of the movie). George Carlin had a very funny bit, too (and I don't particularly like George Carlin). It is really creepy how closely the Michael Jackson impersonator resembled the "real" one -- looks and moves.

    Having so many targets, and going for a lot of slapstick humor, SM3 doesn’t really have much of a plot, and character development isn't the point. It is loaded with parodistic set pieces, one liners and a ton of mostly not-very subtle sight gags, most of which are pretty funny, even if they do not lead from one to another -- it is almost like a comedy revue rather than a cohesive movie, and they miss a lot of opportunities to go for the jugular, although there are some pretty "out there" moments as well (priests and Michael Jackson probably wouldn't like what they see onscreen).

    At the commercial theater I went to, they ran about 20 minutes of trailers for some of the lamest looking flicks to come along in years before SM3 began. It was almost like they were setting us up to laugh at "anything" -- after those, even re-runs of recent Saturday Night Live would have been amusing. By contrast, SM3 was a major laugh riot.

    I have probably laughed harder at some of the jokes thinking of them after the show than I did while actually watching the movie. I have a feeling it would be funnier a second time through, catching a lot of jokes that kind of slid by while being distracted by thinking "did they really do that?" as something gross or outlandish fills the screen. I laughed several times at lines when the rest of the audience didn't "get it". One such line was when one male character was consoling a female friend whose best friend had recently died and he said "I know you've been through a lot." and she said "Yes, it's really hard." and he replied "That's because you're so pretty and you're standing so close to me." Of course that was during a lull in the middle of a sequence of rather incredible mayhem, so the rest of the audience may have just been waiting for more of that.

    SM3 has not been well received by a lot of the major critics, although the score on Rotten Tomatoes (last time I looked) was about half and half. Looks like people who have seen it either enjoy the jokes and don't care that the plot is ridiculously lame, or else they feel it should have been more tightly scripted and acted more like real drama and kept within the bounds of good taste (making the excuse that they didn't find anything to laugh at, being so put off by the gross-out aspects). If you are in the mood for rampant silliness and having fun poked at a lot of popular icons, then you'll probably enjoy SM3. If you're expecting The English Patient, this ain't it. :>)
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Feb 12, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Scary Movie 3". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  3. Al Stuart

    Al Stuart Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 14, 2002
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    Scary Movie 3 was really, really short, and I have to say I'm glad about that. The version I saw ran 74 minutes without the end credits, but I was pretty sure that I'd had my fill of people hitting their head on objects and then while they're recovering from that, being hit in the nuts. I would say that these types of things make up 25% of the jokes, but they fly by at a fairly quick pace. There is one funny scene at a wake, where a child who is supposed to be satirizing Haley Joel Osment from The Sixth Sense (which I'm pretty sure was also parodied in the first Scary Movie) keeps predicting each person's future with cruder and cruder results. But then the scene grows more fixated on poorly designed body part humor, as limbs begin flying around and there is an attempt to resucitate the body in vain. The rest of the jokes fall pretty much flat, relying on parodying the most obvious elements of the succesful films it mocks. The long bit about Signs goes nowhere especially when they try to link it in with The Ring, but all we end up with is rubber aliens who pee out of their fingers and say goodbye with a kick to the crotch.

    What's strange is that despite the fact that Zucker was not traditionally as lazy about his jokes as were the latter Leslie Nielsen movies like Spy Hard and Wrongfully Accused, he still falls into the same trap. Recent parodies have begun to simply replicate the famous scenes with their own look-a-like actors, and assume that the simple act of repitition is skewering enough, no need to add any angle or slant. Whole scenes in Scary Movie 3 are just literal copies of The Ring and 8 Mile with no spin whatsoever, played completely straight, as if we really cared about the plot. The Eminem parody is really poor, and with little or no adjustment, could have passed for the real thing.

    And yet this is still much funnier than Scary Movie 2, which just had one joke after another just lay down and die, and the cast was left floundering, because Wayans just waited wherever he thought the audience would be laughing.

    In the third movie, Leslie Nielsen does an odd nod to Airplane (the line about "Good luck, we're all counting on you"), that's thoroughly out of place, but I must say that it's the first time I've seen a parody make a reference to another parody as a source of humor.

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