Scary Movie 3 sticks with the program: mind-bogglingly dumb characters hustle their way through spoofs of the industry's most popular recent films. It's no mistake that the roasted movies -- in this case: Signs, The Ring, and 8 Mile -- all pull in huge money and attract a young audience.
That demographic gets plenty to laugh at during the film's winking intro. Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson play two blond dimwits, mocking the open to The Ring while joking about their real-life infamy, and um, enormous boobs. In true Airplane! style, Zucker gives us a long look at Pam's ample set, giving Russ Meyer a run for his D-cup-per-minute money.
The goofy playfulness continues as Charlie Sheen and Simon Rex take a stab at Signs, playing a familiar pair of farmer brothers. When the pair admits that their dogs are "acting strange," Zucker gives us the single funniest visual of the movie, a throwback to some of the most absurd and creative moments of his memorable parodies. While Scary Movie 3 has its amusing moments, the movie never nails it that well again.
Zucker and the writing team (including Kevin Smith and the prolific Pat Proft) do their best to balance the giggles between dialogue and slapstick, with both used to fine effect during a rap showdown sequence. Too often, though, the movie leans on the physical stuff too hard -- so hard that fighting becomes the mode of humor. Queen Latifah gets into it with the spooky chick from the The Ring, as do a few other stars in the film's incredibly thin 78 minutes. It gets a little old. Zucker may be a semi-legend, but he hasn't directed a parody in 12 years, and he gave us My Boss's Daughter.
Scary Movie 3 does push through, and often succeeds, thanks to the silly energy of its cast. Anna Faris leads the charge (she's been in all three movies) as the perfectly ditzy know-nothing, Simon Rex is a charming numbskull, and dependable Leslie Nielsen shows up to play the President. Zucker even throws him a famous line from Airplane!, pleasing those of us that have seen that classic too many times.
Months (weeks?) from now, Scary Movie 3 will make for great group viewing at home, but considering it worthy of a full-price ticket may be a stretch. You may, instead, want to bone up on other films in order to get all the jokes in Scary Movie 4. Or you can enjoy what you get, knowing that many of us laugh every time some poor idiot gets kicked in the nuts.
On the (3.0) DVD you get an alternate ending (let's just say it involves Simon Rex and an overgrown green guy), half an hour of deleted scenes, outtakes, and a handful of making-of bits. A feature-length commentary from Zucker and crew rounds out an excellent disc. The 3.5 DVD offers more of the same, only raunchier.
Run time: 84 mins
In Theaters: Friday 24th October 2003
Box Office USA: $109.8M
Box Office Worldwide: $220.7M
Distributed by: Miramax Films
Production compaines: Dimension Films
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 46 Rotten: 82
IMDB: 5.4 / 10
Director: David Zucker
Producer: Robert K. Weiss, David Zucker
Starring: Pamela Anderson as Becca, Jenny McCarthy as Kate, Marny Eng as Tabitha, Charlie Sheen as Tom, Simon Rex as George, Jianna Ballard as Sue, Jeremy Piven as Ross Giggins, Anna Faris as Cindy Campbell, Regina Hall as Brenda Meeks, Denise Richards as Annie, Queen Latifah as Aunt Shaneequa/The Oracle, Leslie Nielsen as President Baxter Harris, Kevin Hart as CJ, Anthony Anderson as Mahalik, Camryn Manheim as Trooper Champlin, George Carlin as The Architect, Simon Cowell as Simon Cowell
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