The 'Scary Movie' series has made no pretenses about it's intelligence, or substantial lack thereof. Aside from backdrop of witty parodies, the actual jokes are usually pretty crude. There's so many of them however, some of them are bound to strick a chord.
The latest entry, 'Scary Movie 3', inexplicably manages to be even dumber and cruder than it's predecessors, with more jokes, but less funny ones. This time around David Zucker of 'Airplane!' and 'The Naked Gun' fame has the helm, and he doesn't doing anything substantial with it. The Wayans brothers brought a unique and enjoyable sense of humour to the series, and without them we're left with another slapstick parody tagged with a PG-13 instead of an R.
Adorable little Anna Faris reprises her role as Cindy Campbell, this time who's a reporter for a TV news station, with a cute little nephew. She hears about a mysterious video tape that kills anyone who sees it within seven days, and begins to investiage. She meets brothers Tom (Sheen) a minister who's los his faith, and George (Rex) who want's to be a white rapper. Supposed hilarity ensues. Leslie Nielsen plays connects crop circles to an impending alien invasion, and seeks out the help of intrepid reporter Cindy Campbell.
It's difficult to review a movie that's really nothing more than a string of separate sketches loosely tied together. Some work better than others, and some just fail badly. There's some funny jabs at 'Matrix: Reloaded' and an excellent send up of '8 Mile', but others don't come of as well. a scene where george tears apart a corpse at a funeral in an effort to revive it sticks out as an especially unfunny and extended piece. No one's calling the 'Scary Movie' franchise a masterpiece of subtle humour, but 'Scary Movie 3' abandons almost all vestiges of wit. What few pieces do remain however, are pretty enjoyable.
The casting is excellent, and the actors (with the exception of Nielsen, who just look tired) deliver even the worst lines with enthusiasm. Anna Faris plays her role perfectly, an innocent and incredibly naive girl who always wants to make you smile. Charlie Sheen manages to deadpan some of the movie's funniest lines, and the two work very well together on screen. Other notable performances are given by Queen Latifah, and Simon Rex who does an excellent eminem. Ja Rule as the Presidents bodyguard is another matter entirely. How does he get work in movies? Didn't anyone see 'Half Past Dead?' Oh wait, of course not...
Set design is also a plus, as some of the scenes look like they've been lifted straight ouf of 'Signs' or '8 Mile'. The similarities work towards making the humour in the movie that little bit funnier. In addition, the ending comes together pretty nicely with the alien invasion very neatly explained.
All in all, 'Scary Movie 3' is more of what you'd expect from the franchise, but rather less than what you'd like. If you're willing to brave a veritable blitz of bad jokes to pick out a few gems, then you'll find a couple nice ones hiding in this film.