Ebert:1/2 TV Guide:1/2
Scary Movie 3 is a hilarious rebirth for the Scary Movie series. The Wayans brothers did a great job with the first two films but now the series has been handed over to one of the true master of parody - David Zucker. If you liked Airplane!, Hotshots and The Naked Gun films then you are going to love Scary Movie 3. If you didn't like Airplane, Hotshots and The Naked Gun films then you are surely not going to like Scary Movie 3 (and don't call me Shirley.)
One of the things that sets this film apart from it's predecessors is that the first two films made fun of the Scream film genre which was already a tongue in cheek satire of actual scary movies. Although SM1 and SM2 were really funny there is something lost when you're making what is essentially a spoof of a spoof. That's where SM3 switches gears. As of late Hollywood horror has once again started taking itself seriously and trying to make real scary movies like last year's Signs, The Ring and The Others. These, along with 8 Mile, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix: Reloaded and X-Men2 are the fodder for this hysterical lampoon.
If you saw the films mentioned above then just imagine if all of their most memorable scenes were wrapped into one intertwined story and that would be a synopsis for this film. But the story here isn't important. It's the jokes that matter and you most definitely get jokes here...In abundance!
The Zucker joke machine works like this - shoot a non-stop never ending continuous barrage of jokes and gags at the audience. There is not a single moment of this film that doesn't have at least 4 or 5 funny things going on in it. There's comedy for everyone's tastes and rest assured, if you are not amused by a particular joke, then less than 2 seconds later another one will have you falling out of your seat with laughter. There are no pauses to let something funny sink in. There is no subtle humor here. It's a torrent of straight forward no-holds-barred comedy.
The actors all do fine work. The opening scene with Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson is so funny I almost spilled my Coke. I was laughing out loud for almost every scene with Hotshots alumnus Charlie Sheen. Anna Faris is the only returning cast member of the series (I think) and she continues doing her part to keep the laughs rolling. Simon Rex is funny as the 8-Mile white rapper and brother of Signs farmer Charlie Sheen. There's a few other funny cameo's from people like Jeremy Piven, Darrell Hammond, Simon Cowell, Fat Joe, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, Ja Rule, George Carlin, Master P, Macy Gray, Redman, Method Man, and Zucker favorite Leslie Nielsen is perfectly uproarious as usual in the role of The president of the United States.
If you're looking for a good comedy this holiday season, skip Elf and catch Scary Movie 3. It's 90 minutes of fun and lets you laugh at all the movies you liked so much over the last couple of years. Scary Movie 4 is already in production. I can't wait!