After more than 40 films to his credit, the creative genius proves he’s still in top form with one of his best films to date. “Scoop”, starring Scarlet Johansen, Hugh Jackman, and Allen himself, is storytelling at its finest. With the beautiful backdrop of London and the beautiful, talented co-stars at his disposal, director Allen makes the most of an already wonderful script.
The film opens with a newly-dead, renowned British reporter attempting to allude the Grim Reaper in order to relay one last great “scoop” about the identity of an unknown serial killer on the loose in London. The reporter is able to “re-materialize” briefly with the help of bumbling magician Sid “Splendini” Waterman (Woody Allen), who unwittingly unites him with the lovely young student reporter Sondra Pransky (Scarlett Johansson), while attempting to make her “de-materialize” on stage as his volunteer during a magic show. Acting on clues relayed to them by the deceased reporter, which point to wealthy aristocrat Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) as the notorious “Tarot Card Killer”, Sid and Sondra become an unlikely duo as they attempt to uncover the truth. Their efforts to unmask the killer are further obstructed by the budding romance between Sondra and the suspected Peter, and a declaration of guilt by yet another suspect in the on-going murders.
Perhaps even more intriguing than the storyline, however, is that – even at age 71 – writer Allen uses his unmistakable style to put a fresh and fascinating perspective on age-old issues that continually plague the human psyche. But this film is far from being all style and no substance. Murder, magic, mystery, and mayhem are all rolled into one delightful “Scoop” for us to enjoy. The story moves effortlessly between nail-biting suspense and laugh out loud comedy, keeping the audience glued to the screen and guessing to the very end; all the while permeated with the insightful observations about life, love and death which have made Woody Allen a movie icon.