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Scary Movie 3 (15)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: 10 deleted scenes; Making of; Making of... Fore real; Outtakes/bloopers; Hulk vs. Aliens: Behind the Scenes of the Alternate Ending; Feature commentary with director David Zucker.

LONG gone are the days when Hollywood was able to spoof anything well, as too much emphasis has been placed on easy sight gags, crass bad taste jokes and a general inability to think of anything new.

Hence, when the original Scary Movie arrived, to parody the likes of The Sixth Sense and Scream, the laughs that were present were also accompanied with the reassuring promise, in the poster tagline, that there would be ‘no sequel’.

How the hell we now have a third film is, therefore, quite difficult to comprehend, particularly as the franchise creators, the much-maligned Wayans brothers, decided to call it a day after the shambolic second film in the series.

But the powers that be have subsequently approached spoof kings, David Zucker, his brother, Jerry, and Jim Abrahams, of Airplane! fame, to attempt to breathe new life into the ailing franchise, by taking the proverbial out of everything from Signs and The Ring, to 8 Mile and The Matrix Reloaded.

The result, though, is a particularly unfunny collection of gags, ill-served by a largely tired cast of has-beens - we’re talking Charlie Sheen and Leslie Nielsen, who continually crop up in spoofs of films they wouldn’t get close to in original form.

Series regular, Anna Faris, also returns, as inept reporter, Cindy Campbell, who must contend with everything from mysterious crop circles, deathly video tapes, and inept rappers, in the hope of landing the ultimate scoop during television sweeps.

But most, if not all of the principal performers and star cameos find themselves lost amid an ever-increasing tide of banality.

Things start brightly, with an entertaining prologue featuring Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy in a mildly amusing take-off of the opening scene from The Ring, but they quickly descend into one tired skit after another, usually involving the same sort of gag.

A boy is repeatedly run over by a car, while another of the lead characters seeks to gain comedy mileage by repeatedly hitting his head against low-hanging objects, without every really managing to appeal to the funny bone.

The best gag is reserved for the now infamous Michael Jackson sequence, while a framed picture of Harrison Ford, as the former president of the United States, raises the faintest smirk, as does the opportunity of seeing wretched Pop Idol judge, Simon Cowell, being gunned down by a rapper during the 8 Mile segment.

But, on the whole, this is a lame exercise in exploiting better movies for quick-fix profits, which speaks volumes for the ‘dumbing down factor’ that seems to have crept into all aspects of entertainment at the moment. The film performed amazingly well at the US box office, despite negative reviews.

Genuine fans of any of the movies parodied will want to avoid it like the plague, however, as should anyone else who values quality, just in case we are forced to contend with the prospect of a Scary Movie 4 in the future.

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