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The 100




Scooby Doo
(2002)
Reviewed by Steve Crow
Rating: 6 Beans

n to the synopsis: the gang breaks up a haunting-racket run by some old man in a ghost disguise, then decide to go their separate ways when egotistical Fred (Freddy Prinze Jr.) takes all the credit over Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Velma (Linda Cardellini). Scooby (CGI - voice of Scott Innes) and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) stick together. All five of them are summoned together by Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson) a couple of years later to investigate brainwashed teens at his Spooky Island amusement park and resort. The gang looks into things and finds a real supernatural threat, solves it, and show who the real perpetrator is behind the mask. And reconcile all their differences by the end of the movie. The end.

What I found amusing is that...well, this movie didn't suck. Much. It certainly seems to have been run through a blender to get it down to a PG rating. So there are weird cuts, haphazard plotting (they allow cats on the planes, but not dogs?), stuff that just gets forgotten (doesn't Mary Jane make the connection between Shaggy's "grandma" on the plane and Scooby - is she really supposed to be as dense as Fred is?), and minimal characterization beyond the Scooby Gang.

Still, it's kinda sorta amusing. There's actually a few decent comments about friendship and loyalty, the CGI stuff is...tolerable for the most part, and the actors range from adequate (Prinze, Gellar) to good (Lillard, Cardellini). And I must have missed a lot of spoilers because the revelation of the actual villain of the piece is kinda surprising and amusing. I could live without the fart humor, but oh well.

The main problem I've seen, and one I'll touch on here because I haven't seen it in a review yet, is that James Gunn (The Specials) doesn't seem entirely familiar with the source material besides the basics. Granted, neither do nine out of ten actual reviews, so I suppose this isn't surprising. For instance, in their various incarnations the gang _has_ met real supernatural stuff. And many of the plot elements here (like the Scooby Gang being permanently trapped in the 60's style- and attitude-wise has already been dealt with in some of the more recent direct-to-video movies. So if you've seen that stuff, you're going to get a feeling of deja vu.

On the other hand, Gunn does manage to capture some elements of the series that reviewers seem to miss. I've read folks griping about Pamela Anderson's gratuitous cameo, which misses the point that her cameo is just as gratuitous as, say, Phyllis Diller's was back in the 60's. (And they both seem about equally talented, making the comparison even more apt). By the same token, most of the "mysteries" the Gang solved weren't really that mysterious or involved, either.

The other problem I have with the movie is that it looks rather over-produced. Supposedly $90 mil was spent on this picture, and that seems like a huge waste. You've got the huge overblown amusement park sets and the big-name actors and actresses. Seems like they could have got by on a direct-to-video release.

So overall I'd recommend giving the movie a onceover unless you absolutely hate the whole Scooby concept. You're probably not going to race out to catch a second showing or get it on video down the road, but you might find it amusing the first time around.


Other reviews for this movie:

Jeff DeLuzio




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