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SCARY MOVIE 2
Dimension Films
Official Site
Director: Keenan Ivory Wayans
Producers: Harvey and Bob Weinstein
Writers: The Brothers Wayans, Greg Grabianski, David Polsky, Micheal Anthony
Snowden, Alison Fouse
Starring: Anna Faris, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Christopher Masterson, Tim Curry, David Cross

Rating: out of 5


What is it about the sequel that confounds the modern filmmaker? Is it really that difficult to make lightning strike twice? I know it can be done, and done well I might add; I've seen THE GODFATHER, PART II and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Hell, even THE BAD NEWS BEARS GO TO JAPAN was a delightful romp. But by and large, most sequels end up being punchlines in film critics' oh-so-witty reviews (see BAD NEWS BEARS GO TO JAPAN). I suppose if one had to pin down the exact cause of the dreaded "Sequel-itis," it would be the pressure. And not the good, clean athletic kind of pressure that makes people achieve excellence in fields such as baseball and pro-Scrabble. No, it's the bad, scary kind of pressure that involves a lot of people's money and time. And under this heavy burden, good men and women crumble and fall, bringing to the table only half a film, if that. You know the drill: The script is hastily put together, the director never really gets the shots he wants, the actors are in their trailers rolling in the piles of money and cocaine they have been given (I assume). It's just not a healthy enviroment for creativity to bloom.

So it is with a heavy heart that I give you, not a review, but a eulogy for the latest victim of the aforementioned disease, SCARY MOVIE 2. Now, I genuinely liked SCARY MOVIE. It was funny, pretty damn smart and full of witty parody and spoofery. Recalling the glory days of the Zucker-Abrams-Zucker films, it made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. And I felt saved. Okay, maybe that's being over-dramatic. It was funny and, for my hard-earned cash, that's all I can really ask for. So when I heard that a sequel was on it's way, I was excited. Some might even say I was giddy, but I think that's really none of your business. But after seeing SCARY MOVIE 2, my mood has clouded, taking on the appearance of a stormy day in December.

Not to mince words, but SCARY MOVIE 2 sucked. Hard. In its entire 90-minute running time, I laughed exactly five times. Not good, from-the-gut laughs, either. A nice chuckle was about the best I could muster. The actual number of supposed jokes, by the way, is something I can't take away from the film. It's absolutely loaded with them. They come at you from the left. They come flying in from the right. Overhead, sneaking up behind, sort-of diagonal ¶ the jokes never stop rolling in. Which would be great except that they're not funny. No, sadly, they just make you tired. While I was watching this cinematic Air Show disaster, trying to stay lucid and focused, one phrase kept repeating itself over and over in my mind: "What a waste." There are a lot of pretty talented people up there on the screen, people such as Tim Curry, Anna Faris (whom I find cute as a button) and David Cross, he of "Mr. Show" fame. It's truly sad to see Cross, a gifted comedian, in a mess like this, but one hopes he was paid well and went out and bought himself something nice.

The biggest problem that this movie had going for it was its inability to read the audience. After the first movie, all the critics, all the fans, everybody said, "It was so funny, and hey the gross-out jokes were neat." For some reason, they creators only picked up on the latter half of that sentence. This movie is wall-to-wall sight gags involving urine, semen, vomit, spit and poo. The gross-out material is unnecessary to say the least and downright repellent to say the most. Don't get me wrong, I love a good fart joke as much as the next 20-year-old male, but hearing that same fart joke again and again and again, well it just gets old. But that's apparently what the Brothers Wayans think we want, so if that is, in fact, what equals a fine evening of cinema for you, then by all means, there's a seat with your name on it. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

So the coffin has been lowered on yet another lousy sequel. With any luck, this movie will be ignored and remain buried alongside the rotting carcasses of CITY SLICKERS 2 and I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. However, using my amazing psychic powers, I predict that this will make a mint and a half at the box office, which is rather unfortunate, if not terribly disturbing. The people in the theater with me sure seemed to be having a good time, oohing and aahing at the various splatters of bodily fluids, so maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy who doesn't appreciate a bold new voice in comedy. But I don't think so.

-Clint Davis

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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