Most helpful critical review
Too kooky for its own good
on 8 April 2015
‘Scoop’ is a Woody Allen film set in London. Despite this, most of its lead actors are not British. But that’s by the way. The fact is that it’s supposed to be a comedy. Only it’s not really that funny. Sure, there are a few lines here and there (largely delivered by Woody Allen himself) which may raise a smile, but overall it’s hardly a ‘laugh out loud’ affair.
Scarlett Johansson plays a student journalist in London who, while on stage during one of (magician) Woody Allen’s tricks, happens to be contacted by a ghost (Ian McShane) who tells her who a serial killer really is. She, in turn, decides to enlist Woody’s help and track down the alleged culprit. Only the man in question is Hugh Jackson and she falls in love with him. So you’re left with a kind of mish-mash of genres, encompassing supernatural, murder/mystery and romantic comedy. Sadly, it never really focuses on one area enough.
Scarlett and Woody are likable enough leads, but they breeze through the story (which is about a serial killer murdering women and leaving tarot cards at the scene of the crime) like they’re going on a picnic. It’s actually quite a dark affair, but you never really feel it, even in the climax at the end.
I read online that Woody Allen picked Scarlett Johansson because he thought she had untapped comedic value. She may well have, but she doesn’t really get much of a chance to shine here. Woody takes all the best lines for himself, leaving little else for her to do apart from fall in love and act a bit kooky.
Overall, ‘Scoop’ isn’t a bad film, it’s just not focused enough to be that memorable.
Bonus point (for men!) – Scarlett in a swimsuit (still doesn’t really save the entire movie though).