Quasi-funny movie 2

Scary Movie 2

Directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans

(Anna Faris, Marlon Wayans, Tori

Spelling, Shawn Wayans)

Rated: R

The first Scary Movie pushed the envelope of humor and taste as it parodied the best and cheesiest of the Hollywood horror fare. In stark contrast, Scary Movie 2 offers up little more than an unrestrained repetition of crude and unneeded shocks. There are several moments that earn the audience’s laughter, but the viewer is more often laughing at the Wayans than with them.

Take, for example, the opening sequence. In both Scary Movies, it is the most thought-out and cleverly crafted segment of the film, leading the viewer into the insane, unpredictable world of the Wayans brothers. In Scary Movie 2, an inventive and detailed opening spoof of The Exorcist quickly deteriorates into an all-out vomit war between the two priests and the possessed child. It’s disappointing to see the early wit morph into cheap shock tactics.

The remainder of the film follows suit, offering 85 minutes of repeated punch lines loosely held together, existing for their own sake. While the first Scary Movie worked within the framework of Wes Craven’s Scream, Scary Movie 2 is remarkably free of any narrative or motivation. During moments of creativity, such as a spoof of a drawn-out Nike basketball commercial, a swearing parrot or John Woo-inspired wheelchair race, Scary Movie 2 has remnants of the unexpected and surprising first film.

When the sequel breaks down into its dick, fart, erect penis and ejaculation humor, however, it loses its potency. Yes, the first installment had dumb shock humor too, but in Scary Movie 2, there is no moderation; these gags are the norm. A Charlie’s Angels parody ends in mimicked urination. A seduction ends in self-administered oral sex. Titanic‘s tragic finale leads to a hand job. The bulk of the film resembles the opening, promising scenarios limited to Tom Green intelligence, leaving no bodily fluid unexploited.

The film was completed only weeks ago and the studio’s haste is apparent. Modern jokes about The Weakest Link and the Florida election scandal are sure to date Scary Movie 2 significantly. Similarly, an incoherent narrative, filled with gaps and miscues, diminishes the film’s successes. If not for the parade of characters from the first film, including Cindy Campbell (Anna Farris), Ray Maker (Shawn Mayans) and Shorty Meeks (Marlon Wayans), a lack of commercials and an inability to change channels, a latecomer might mistake this hodgepodge of inane and declining sketches for Saturday Night Live.

– Steven Snyder