I just finished watching the trailer for 'Scoop,'Woody Allen's follow-up to last year's critically lauded 'Match Point,' and I have to say that I kind of liked it. Before 'Match Point,' Allen had "enjoyed" a streak of not-so-well-recieved comedies of his signature "quirky" variety: 'Small Time Crooks,''Curse of the Jade Scorpion,''Hollywood Ending,''Anything Else,''Melinda and Melinda.' Smart guy that Woody is, he realized it was time to stop making cute and start making good, and so with 'Match Point' he dove right into the darkest fathoms of the human psyche, exploring what it means to do the worst thing a person can do: take the life of another.
With 'Scoop,' Allen tackles similar themes of murder and accountability, but this time in a comical light. While visiting friends in London, an American college journalist (Scarlett Johansson) goes to see a magician (Allen) perform, volunteers for one of his illusions, and -- in the middle of being "de-materialized" -- recieves the "scoop of the century" from the spirit of a murdered reporter (Ian McShane of 'Deadwood' fame). This scoop -- unsubstantiated, of course -- is that rich socialite Hugh Jackman is the infamous Tarot Card Killer. Scarlett and Woody team up to crack the case, but not surprisingly Scarlett falls for Hugh -- no doubt because he finally ditched Wolverine's signature Flock of Seagulls haircut from 'X-Men.' Hilarity (and perhaps murder????) ensues.
So basically, I now find myself thinking that Woody may just pull two good films in a row out of his butt. Here's why ... First, Woody realized that once you go Scarlett you never go back. He knows a good thing when he sees it, and he was wise to hitch his wagon to Johansson's star once again. And this time he's given her a role that at least appears to be a whole lot more interesting than the whiny, needy temptress she played in 'Match Point.' Second, Hugh Jackman -- so hot right now. His 'X-Men: The Last Stand' has already made like a gagillion dollars this summer, and everyone and their brother is rushing to cast him in their next project. And third, Scarlett Johansson. Did I mention her already?
Tags: Scoop, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Woody Allen, summer movies