Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Absurd Comedy, Gross-Out Comedy, Horror Comedy, Parody/Spoof, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Oct 24, 2003 (USA)  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - Canada , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Tracie Cooper

The third in the Scary Movie franchise, this film is little more than a mediocre episode of Saturday Night Live. Indeed, the focus on certain "scary" movies -- like 8 Mile and The Matrix -- are noticeably lackluster when compared to the mini-parodies SNL alumni Mike Myers and Will Ferrell produced for the annual MTV Movie Awards with much greater success. That said, despite the abundance of awkward pop-culture references (it's doubtful that this movie's target audience will catch Leslie Nielsen's small homage to 1980's Airplane!), done-to-death jokes, and lack of any true laugh-out-loud moments, Scary Movie 3 does deliver a joyful, equal-opportunity disrespect for all things politically correct, as well as several well-aimed jabs at modern news media outlets. Clad in cartoonish Catholic school regalia, professional bombshells Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy offer a surprisingly self-aware send-up of The Ring's ill-fated video watchers, thus setting the premise for the rest of the movie: the hapless broadcast news journalist Cindy Campbell's (Scary Movie veteran Anna Faris) effort to bring a recent onslaught of crop circles to the forefront of her sex-obsessed station, all the while protecting her friends and family from watching the killer tape. As fate would have it, the crop circles only become the top story when her ratings-hungry television network airs 24-hour footage of the video, in doing so causing an alien race to die off in droves after viewing it via radio waves in space. Certainly, the story is absurd enough to make a funny movie, but the overly heavy reliance on slapstick and bland performances all around keep Scary Movie 3 from reaching its potential. Charlie Sheen's character doesn't so much resemble Mel Gibson's role in Signs as it proves virtually indiscernible from his performance as the angst-ridden Topper Harley in Hot Shots! In the same vein, Simon Rex's boring take on Eminem's rise to stardom is given an inexplicable amount of screen time while Leslie Nielsen, Regina Hall, Eddie Griffin, and Queen Latifah are grossly underutilized. In short, Scary Movie 3 isn't as good as the original, nor is it as bad as Scary Movie 2 or Not Another Teen Movie, a notable companion in over-the-top genre spoofs gone wrong -- perhaps Scary Movie 4 will get it right.