By Stephanie Zacharek
By Simon Abrams
By Michelle Orange
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Nick Schager
By Amy Nicholson
By The Invisible Woman
By I Used to Be Darker
Picking up a mere seven years after the previous installment, Scary Movie V features no original cast members, no Wayans brothers producing (they bailed after No. 3) and a new director (first-timer Malcolm D. Lee). It's still terrible.
Why, you may ask, does one even bother to review Scary Movie V? It wasn't screened in advance for critics, and the lone approach taken by Dimension's marketing team involved hyping the obvious pairing of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan. Clearly, the target demographic consists primarily of TMZ viewers with greater-than-average attention spans and NASCAR fans who feel today's races don't have enough fatal crashes.
It isn't possible to view -- or "enjoy" -- Scary Movie V in the traditional sense: For an alleged comedy, it's remarkably laugh-free; as insta-parody, it already feels dated (Inception references?). Therefore, I was forced to approach the material from a more detached perspective, like a person who travels out of their body at the moment of death or to withdraw from a traumatic event (cough).
So in lieu of a conventional review, I present Seven Depressing Things I Realized About Scary Movie V That Have Almost Nothing to Do With the Movie Itself:
1. The silence that greeted the Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! ad that ran before the screening I attended was the quietest the audience would be all morning.
2. I'd wager all the gold from The Italian Job that there are more laughs in the Pain & Gain trailer than there are to be had in the whole Scary Movie franchise.
3. The appearances of the movie's guest stars almost perfectly mirrors the descending order of the squandered potential of their prior acting careers: Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Molly Shannon, Heather Locklear, Kate Walsh, Jasmine Guy, Darrell Hammond, Katt Williams, Jerry O'Connell.
4. Writer David Zucker co-wrote some of the funniest movies and TV shows of the twentithth century (Airplane, Top Secret!, Police Squad). Since declaring himself an impassioned conservative in 2004, he's written the empirically terrible Michael Moore slam flick An American Carol and this. If the ability of conservatives to create or comprehend comedy were on trial, Scary Movie V would be the prosecution resting its case.
5. Usher's cameo: The result of a drunken wager with Snoop Dogg, or indicator of a brain-slug infestation?
7. Charlie Sheen calls his cat "Emilio." That was in the first five minutes, and it was the last time in the movie -- or the subsequent three days -- that I've come close to cracking a smile. Because Scary Movie V murdered my capacity to feel joy.
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