Scary Movie 3

Back for a third time and with a different director the Scary Movie series takes a slightly different turn. The Wayans brothers have been replaced by David Zucker better known as part of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team who wrote and directed The Naked Gun, HotShots! and the classic Kentucky Fried Movie.

The plot is very simple in fact so simple that its really not worth going into at all but well have a go at it anyway. There are two subplots; the first is a mysterious video tape that if anyone watches it, they then receive a phone call telling them that they are going to die. Reporter Cindy (Anna Faris returns to the series) is investigating this mysterious tape and getting nowhere fast. The other plot thread involves farmer/ex-priest Tom (Charlie Sheen) waking up to discover a huge crop circle in his field that spells out Attack Here.

Needless to say by the time the end of the film arrives, these two plot lines arrive together to some sort of conclusion. The plot is irrelevant as the laughs are more based on the numerous other situations and cameos that appear throughout the film which are not really plot-driven.

Unfortunately the laughs are quite weak and all the best bits are in the trailer so the funniest bits hold no surprises in the very short 78 minutes running time. There are a few chuckle moments most notably with Charlie Sheens The Hours moment with Michael Jackson (which Jacko is apparently considering legal action over) and Leslie Nelson as the President of the United States. Other notable moments are the sexy catholic school girls (Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy and a very impressive pair of cleavages) who watch the mysterious video tape. Pamela Anderson even manages to have a sense of humour over her infamous Stolen Honeymoon tape.

The problem with Scary Movie 3 is that the characters are now so over-the-top stupid that any sort humour is just arbitrary at this point. Director David Zucker unfortunately often falls back onto poor crass humour and just doesnt have the characters of The Naked Gun series or wit of Airplane!.

The performances are nothing noteworthy and the majority of the cast seem like they are embarrassed to be partaking in this drivel. Even alumni of the genre like Leslie Nielson as the president of the United States cannot save the film even by beating up a bunch of disabled people mistaking them for aliens as you do. The only people who come across with some creditability are Anthony Anderson, Eddie Griffin and dare I say it Simon Cowell. Cowell manages to have a sense of humour about himself and what most people want to do with him i.e. shoot him and again its a funny bit so therefore its in the trailer.

Its a real shame that David Zucker who is a semi-legend in this genre makes the film feel like a forced attempt to please a new audience instead of catering to his own strengths. Zucker seems like hes losing his touch and bearing in mind that hes not directed a parody in over 12 years, it looks like this genre has lost one of its pioneer writer/directors. Perhaps its not a problem with the David Zucker; perhaps the problem is with the genre becoming oversaturated.

On the whole Scary Movie 3 is better than Scary Movie 2 but it struggles to find the laughs that the pedigree of the writers and directors should have delivered.

SCORE 4/10