At one point during the first Scary Movie, a penis is shoved through a bathroom stall, enters a character’s ear and exits the other ear. This is a hilarious sight gag, rather you enjoy lowbrow humor or not. Fortunately, I sometimes like lowbrow humor, and laughed my proverbial buttocks off at the gag. Later on in the first Scary Movie, the character Cindy, who was a virgin, eventually makes love to her boyfriend, and the eventual orgasm is, quite literally, a gusher that sends poor Cindy to the ceiling by its force. About a third of the way through Scary Movie 2, a now-no-longer virgin Cindy gives oral sex to a boy in a freezer and the eventual orgasm is, quite literally, a gusher that sends poor Cindy flying across the room. If those two descriptions sound familiar, that’s probably because one is a variation on the former. And that is one of Scary Movie 2’s biggest problem.
Scary Movie 2 suffers from the same problem as all parody movies. It’s this: once you make a parody of a genre by turning the cliché of the genre upside down, how do you then make a sequel and parody the same genre? Well, one way to do so is to mine the same territory, but this time using different variations on the same sight gags. Another way is to dig deeper into the genre’s many trappings and lampoon those that you forgot, or missed, the first time around. Unfortunately for most of Scary Movie 2’s running time, the “gold nuggets” that the original “forgot” is, well, better left forgotten.
I have a theory that if more than 3 people are credited as the writer of a movie, the movie is either in trouble, or will be unfocused, since as the theory goes that if you add more than one author to a project that project will not have a cohesive foundation. Too many creative thoughts on the same idea tends to turn the idea to mush, and thus you have incomprehensible movie where many people have “taken their shot” at it, instead of having one movie where one person has “given his vision.” Take a look at the sidebar, and you’ll notice an army of names credited as writers for Scary Movie 2. Why is that? Because the movie is not really a movie, it’s an assemblage of skits strung together to form a movie.
Take the first 10 minutes of the movie, where James Woods does a cameo as a priest doing an exorcist with the help of Andy Richter of Conan O’Brien fame. The scene goes on for a while, is not all that funny, and 10 minutes later, it’s forgotten. There is absolutely no tie-in of merit between that scene and the rest of the movie, and that goes for Scary Movie 2 as a whole. There is no cohesiveness, no vision, just a string of gags meant to be funny or disturbing. In fact, the only real laugh-out-loud scene that I can point to is when Chris Elliot, playing a butler with a deformed hand, serves food to the characters by touching and dipping his deformed hand into every piece of food. The gag is hilarious.
Other scenes that were meant to be funny comes out flat. These includes the Charlie’s Angel parody; a Nikes basketball skit where the characters all dribble the ball in fancy ways (which, by the way, goes on for way too long without any payoff); and another scene involving a, get this, wheelchair race to the death between a handicapped character and a ghost. Not funny. There’s also a lengthy scene involving a possessed hemp tree that grows to ridiculous size and “rolls” the character Shorty, a pothead, into a joint and smokes him. The scene is good for a smirk, but it’s not as funny as the filmmakers meant for it to be. And that’s the problem with Scary Movie 2 — it’s never as funny as it’s supposed to be, or as funny as the filmmakers thought it would be.
Is the movie completely without laugh? Oh no, there are some genuinely funny momentss, and almost all of them involves Chris Elliot’s character. There’s also a funny scene where Elliot’s character, with his deformed hand, trades barbs with a wheelchair-bound character. Elliot’s character would make puns about feet to the handicapped person, who would return with a pun about hands and fingers. It’s a hilarious, original, and smart scene.
My suggestion to Keenan Ivory Wayans before he makes Scary Movie 3 (which is already in production) is to get rid of his brother, Marlon, who plays the pothead Shorty. The Shorty character has run its course and is no longer funny. Also get rid of his other brother, Shawn, who plays the gay character Ray. He’s also run his course. In fact, Keenan, I suggest firing all of your family members.
Keenen Ivory Wayans (director) / Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Alyson Fouse, Greg Grabianski, Dave Polsky, Michael Anthony Snowden, Craig Wayans (screenplay)
CAST: Anna Faris … Cindy Campbell
Marlon Wayans … Shorty Meeks
James DeBello … Tommy
Shawn Wayans … Ray Wilkins
David Cross … Dwight Hartman
Regina Hall … Brenda Meeks
Christopher Masterson … Buddy
Tim Curry … Professor Oldman
Kathleen Robertson … Theo