Release Date: July 28th, 2006 by Focus Features.
The Cast: Woody Allen, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Romola Garai, Charles Dance, Anthony Head, Kevin McNally, Ian McShane.
Directed by Woody Allen.
BASIC PREMISE: Sondra (Johansson), an American journalism student in London, falls in love with Peter (Jackman) while investigating with Sid (Allen), a magician, whether or not he’s a serial killer.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Scoop does have its magic, but only in the literal sense when Sid performs magic tricks and when the ghost if a dead journalist (McShane) emerges to give Sondra some hints about her latest scoop. Unfortunately, figuratively speaking, the plot has no magic and neither do any of the characters—especially when Sondra and Peter lack chemistry together when they’re supposed to be madly in love with one another. Unlike Manhattan Murder Mystery and Shadows and Fog , which magically combined suspense, drama and comedy, Scoop fails on all levels. Even The Curse of the Jade Scorpion didn’t have any suspense, but at least had enough humor to keep you entertained. The plot unfolds like a ho-hum, formulaic mystery movie with very few surprises. Although the script does follow a logical structure, it’s too predictable and most of the attempts for humor fall flat. In fact, one line of “humor” is actually borrowed from another Woody Allen film. Has Allen lost his edge so much that he actually steals from himself now? Fans of Scarlett Johansson will be happy to know that she does look sexy and seductive. However, when it comes to comic timing, she could use some practice. Hugh Jackman also looks great, but his character is too boring and gives a mediocre performance. In the third act, the plot gets even more contrived and absurd, but still without any a trace of tension to hold your attention.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Dull and formulaic.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 8
IN A NUTSHELL: Dull, unfunny and formulaic. Woody Allen has temporarily lost his comic edge.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "S" Menu