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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Ashley Tisdale, Katt Williams, Simon Rex, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan
DIRECTED BY
David Zucker, Malcolm Lee
SCREENWRITERS
David Zucker, Aaron Seltzer, Buddy Johnson, Jason Friedberg, Jim Abrahams, Marlon Wayans, Pat Proft, Shawn Wayans, Phil Beauman
MPAA RATING
Rated PG-13
RUNNING TIME
85 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
The Weinstein Company
DVD EXTRAS
Trailer; Deleted Scenes: Digital Copy

 "Scary Movie 5" is Scary, Indeed 
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I have good news about Scary Movie 5. It's way better than I ever expected.

I have bad news about Scary Movie 5. It still sucks.

In fact, the thing that made me laugh the most during Scary Movie 5 was in having it occur to me right in the middle of the film that this would be the perfect test of The Weinstein Company's legendary ability to mount an Oscar marketing campaign.

With the possible exception of image-skewing opening scenes involving Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, there's absolutely nothing else funny to be found in Scary Movie 5, the latest in the Scary Movie series. There are some familiar references, such as the recent Mama, but there's also ample doses of tired pop culture references that will most likely only please those who are likely to chuckle over being able to spot particular foods in their most recent bowel movement.

Unfortunately, there are those people.

The Scary Movie films have never been about endurance or awards or anything other than being able to make a low-budget film guaranteed to snag modest profitability while employing the lower rung of Hollywood's hangers on or those with a few hours to kill and an open spot on their filmography.

Scary Movie films have always been more about people watching than actually worrying about silly little things like plot or story line or performance, and in the first film that worked fairly decently. In this film, it's hard not to sit staring at the screen muttering "Is Lindsay Lohan really only 26-years-old?" or "Why on earth is Charlie Sheen playing a different character than he did in the previous two Scary Movie films?" or "How high was Snoop Dogg, now Snoop Lion, when he said "Yes!"  to this film?" or, um, "Is this really the best project that the truly funny and talented Molly Shannon could actually find?"

The paper thin storyline is simple. Simon Rex and Ashley Tisdale play a couple who've adopted his feral nieces (Sheen is his brother), a semi-spoof of both Mama and the The Paranormal Activity films. We're then treated to extended rips on Black Swan, because so many of the teens/young adults targeted by this film have seen it, along with the likes of Benny Hill (Really!), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Inception and others. The attempts at humor are mostly misguided and mean-spirited, such as repeated jokes at the expense of a heavy Latina housekeeper, a stinky toilet and such overt racism that you can't help but recall Zucker's own ill-fated attempt to blast Michael Moore in the simply godawful An American Carol.

Instead of resting on his comedic laurels, David Zuker deserves to be flogged by them.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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