Written by Craig Mazin and Pat Proft, and directed by David Zucker, Scary Movie 3 tries hard to undo all of the bad work that led to the second instalment in the franchise being such a stinker. It's interesting to note that things seem considerably improved thanks to the removal from the series of anyone with the Wayans name.
The plot is absolute nonsense, blending The Ring with Signs and mixing in plenty of references to Eight Mile, The Matrix movies and The Sixth Sense. Anna Faris returns as Cindy, the nominal heroine of the franchise, and Regina Hall is Brenda Meeks once more, but this time they are joined by Simon Rex and Charlie Sheen, two actors who do much better with the comedic material than anyone named Wayans. Rex and Sheen play two brothers living on a farm, with the former wanting to make his name as a renowned rapper and the latter just wanting to be left in peace after a personal tragedy revealed during the movie.
Although I enjoy this instalment more than any other in the series, including the first movie, it still suffers from the fact that it crams in so many juvenile, lowbrow gags amongst the better moments. The Eight Mile scenes, in particular, are both amusing and absolutely on target, while so many of the other gags are thrown onscreen to see what sticks and what doesn't. The good news for all involved this time is that many of them stick.
Zucker is an old hand with this stuff, and he does fine by the material. The script may not win any prizes but it's so much better than the awful movie that preceded it that, well, maybe it should.
Faris is as likeable as ever, Hall is a lot of fun as Brenda and both Rex and Sheen are great additions to the franchise. The cast also includes Jeremy Piven, in a small but enjoyable role, Anthony Anderson and Kevin Hart having a lot of fun, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin and George Carlin helping to gently mock the world of The Matrix, and Leslie Nielsen as an incompetent President Of The United States.
Is it a movie I will seek out to rewatch again and again? No, none of the Scary Movie comedies will ever top my list of viewing priorities. This third outing, however, is one that I can always enjoy watching if I chance upon it while it is being shown on TV.