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Scary Movie 3 Review

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Intrepid newscaster Cindy Campbell must decode a murderous video tape, save her clairvoyant nephew and prevent aliens from taking over the world via Tom Logan's farm, where they've been leaving messages in the corn.

★★★★★

The third instalment of this critic-baiting, cash-swallowing franchise was inevitable. But before you start hiding behind the sofa, the good news is that the Wayans brothers have bailed, leaving 'Airplane!' and 'Naked Gun' guru David Zucker to show them how it should have been done. Well, that's the theory...

In fact, it's almost as if Zucker has forgotten what made his classics click. Where they relied on wit, effective parody and genuinely surreal comic invention, here the emphasis is on shoddy spoofs of films with a limited shelf-life ('The Ring', 'Signs' and - bizarrely - '8 Mile'), depressingly violent slapstick and lewd innuendo.

To be fair, it is intermittently very funny - the cracking prologue with Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy, an inspired piece of bunkum with a news autocue - but Zucker fails to establish a consistent tone, while our heroes, Faris and newcomer Rex, mug charmlessly. Basically, any movie that suffers from a lack of Charlie Sheen has got problems.

Better than the first two (like, duh!), but the hit-miss ratio is still alarmingly lopsided.