Certified not worth its weight in Scooby Snacks
By Emma Kae - 20th June 2002 - Back to News
This film is, of course, based on the 1969 Hanna-Barbera TV classic "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" For those who believed that it was impossible to do any worse than its aforementioned channel-changing-incentive counterpart, you will be devastated to learn that, in fact, the film is sadly worse.
Directed by Raja Gosnell (Never Been Kissed, Home Alone 3, Big Momma’s House) the film at least faithfully embodies the tone and structure of the animated series and is resonated with the slapstick comedy and repetitive cartoon humour of the original. Some might say that the first five minutes of the film are almost worth it for the musty trip down memory lane.
The crime-fighting characters of the past are fully realized immediately, with an introductory mystery-solving extravaganza ending with an angry looking man yelling about how he’d have gotten away with his crime if it had not been for "those meddling kids". Unfortunately, we also realize that while the cartoon Scooby at least looked the part of his fellow cast, the CGI digital treatment is even more frightening than a blonde Freddie Prinze Jr.
The storyline follows on from this mystery, and shows the kids having an argument over who deserves the credit for solving the mystery, and they wind up disbanding.
Fast forward to sometime later when the group is summoned to the Spooky Island Amusement Park (ten points for individuality, guys) to converge on a quest to solve the mystery and earn the reward money. In some unapparent development in the storyline, the kids begin to investigate what appears to be a series of brainwashing that visitors to the island seem to suffer from as they leave the island.
Sounds dodgy? Well, at least the movie made sense up until this point. Even cameo performances by Pamela Anderson and Sugar Ray cannot save Scooby from certain doom.
From here on, the cast moves from one extravagant and obviously expensive set to the next, none of which are overly spooky or even funny. The film loses any target audience it may have had with its sad attempts to lighten the boring storyline with comedic flair. Included are jokes that a child-filled audience would not even understand, with hints at the drug-related basis of the series (ever wondered why Shaggy and Scooby always have the munchies for Scooby Snacks, the dog talks, and the kids see ghouls that no-one else seems to be able to see). On the opposite end of the scale, the gross attempt at flatulence humour is enough to make even the most immature adult in the audience turn away in disgust.
For those of you that still are determined to see Scooby Doo, you may be able to cling to your sanity through the performance of Matthew Lillard as Shaggy. He perfectly impersonates the movement, gestures and speech of his character (I bet you never thought anyone could get that high again), and is gifted at making you believe that he is acting opposite someone instead of just staring at an empty space. Still, while I found Lillard to be a fantastic comic performer, I still wished I had waited until this one was out on video, where I can at least fast forward through the majority of the film.
As an added precaution, be sure to get popcorn to throw at the people in front of you in the boring bits. Make that a large popcorn…
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