“Scary Movie 2” is a pathetic supplement to an already pathetic insult to movie-goers across the world. Utilizing the same, sorry formula that yielded last year’s equally-raunchy “Scary Movie,” its follow-up is the poster child for an industry wide anti-sequel movement. In a summer of continuations and spin-offs, “Scary Movie 2” leaves one questioning the level of creativity dwelling in the minds of Hollywood’s elite.
Following the same disjointed, nonsensical means of storytelling like such predecessors in the genre as “Naked Gun” and “Hot Shots,” “Scary Movie 2” makes a trifle attempt at a plot, but quickly dwindles into disjointed skits spoofing — you guessed it — scary movies. However, this second installment seems to rest on the assumption that its predecessor exhausted all previously-existing scary movies, and instead is forced to parody everything and anything that was released in the mean time.
The number of references to television shows and movies within the last year adds up quickly, leaving one feeling cheated out of $8 for what amounts to a series of poor “Saturday Night Live” skits strung together — better yet, a poor reincarnation of the highly-inferior “In Living Color.” Maybe that should not seem so odd, seeing as both are driven by the childish, creativity-deprived minds of the infamous Wayans brothers (co-creator Keenen Ivory and actors Shawn and Marlon).
This is not to say that nothing worth spoofing has occurred in the past year, but references to “Save the Last Dance,” “Cast Away,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” “Charlie’s Angels,” television’s “Weakest Link” and Nike basketball commercials seem forced and would have been better suited for an “In Living Color” reunion.
Even references to such recent horror movies as “What Lies Beneath,” “Hollow Man” and “Hannibal” seem cheap. The whole point of “Scary Movie” seemed to be the mockery of cheesy, scary movie classics that millions of people have embraced over time. The references here are from recent movies that almost no one liked in the first place, so it comes across as petty.
Aside from the subject matter, the production values seem low-rate — barely up to par with cable television’s. The acting seems suspiciously inept, as if the script was handed to the actors only seconds prior to their lines being read, and in terms of development, the characters are best suited for two-minute commercials. Granted, this is a spoof, but even “Airplane” let us know what Ted Striker was all about, and it aided the comedy.
In a cast of teeny-boppers (Anna Farris, Regina Hall, James DeBello) and mid-lifers wishing they were teeny-boppers (Shawn and Marlon Wayans, Tori Spelling), the few adult roles may provide the only salvageable portions of the movie. Andy Richter (“Late Night With Conan O’Brien”) appears in the film’s prologue, spoofing a scene from the horror classic “The Exorcist,” and provides laughter with a sing-along piano version of Mystikal’s ghetto anthem “Shake ya ass.” Also, Chris Eliott again brings a few chuckles with his familiar turn as a disgustingly disfigured housemaid named Hansen.
With “Scary Movie 2” the Wayans brothers have proven, like “The Blair Witch Project 2” earlier this year, that anything can happen to anyone in the scary movie business. With a failure such as this, the brothers will surely be sent packing back to the realm of UPN and the Warner Brothers Network, while spoofing will be left to real comics like Mel Brooks and Leslie Nielsen.