by Jason Whyte
To paraphrase Roger Ebert, I think "Scary Movie 2" is twice as good as the original. Of course, you know what two times zero is.The first "Scary Movie" was certainly one of the most failed attempts at comedy I have ever seen. Scene after scene fell flat on its face without so much as a grimace on my face. You can't spoof a spoof such as "Scream", and in the sequel, it's the awful "Charlie's Angels" that gets lampooned, not in a funny sort, but almost a carbon copy of.
"Two times (zero) the fun!"
I was watching "Wayne's World" last week, which showed a wonderful sense of playing on classic films, doing the spoofs well and making sure it will be something that will last. In "Scary Movie 2," the spoofs are already dated with references to commercials and movies released in the last 9 months, from a Nike basketball ad to a closet hiding Florida ballots, from last year's US presidental election. This film won't even make sense in two years, as less as it does now.
Pray tell, how funny is it to watch Chris Elliot, hunchbacked with a mangled hand, serve dinner by putting his hands in everything and popping the zit on his face? A few seconds of this may have been enough, but Uber-Director Keenan Ivory Wayans plays this for too long, making sure he grosses out everyone by jamming his hands into meat, pies and vegetables. As much as I like Chris Elliot in his very few acting roles, this will probably destroy whatever career he has. I almost walked out of the theater in this scene but my shuttle ride home wasn't leaving for another hour. (Okay, so maybe my joke wasn't as good as David Spade's "I was going to see this movie, but I was sick that day!" gag, but trust me, I'm funnier than anything in this film.)
So, is there a plot here? Well, not really, it just throws all of the insipid characters from the first film into the second one, starting out with going to a haunted house to study sleeping habits, a'la "The Haunting". Pretty soon, the characters are being terrorized by ghosts and the last half of the film focuses so closely on "Hollow Man" that all I could do was just think about how good the visual effects were in that film.I haven't even mentioned the opening scene which takes on "The Exorcist," which would have been more interesting had last year's reissue of the film never happened. James Woods, in full Max Von Sydow mode, is one of my favorite actors, and to watch green vomit getting spewed on him, evacuating quite loudly into a toilet, and doing vaginal tongue teasing with the demonized girl, is, well, depressing.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4726&reviewer=350
originally posted: 09/14/04 15:49:23