Two years after a clash of egos saw the members of Mystery Inc go their separate ways, Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), Velma (Linda Cardellini), and Scooby Doo are summoned by wacky millionaire Emile Mondarvarious (Rowan Atkinson) to his ultra-hip theme park, Spooky Island. He reunites the Scooby gang to solve the mystery of why his island is turning fun-loving spring-break college students into Stepford kids who speak in a strange ghetto language.
Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Ruh-roh! Romething's really wrong with dis ricture! Unless you're a fanatic, the best advice is Scooby Don't, for this $90 million live action version of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon from the 80s is a work of Super Mario Brothers sized miscalculation. In trying to rekindle the nostalgia of the original television series, the big screen Scooby goes for an Austin Powers type of self-reflexive cheesiness but ends up being a string of lame one liners suited more to a teenage audience. And how many of them have heard of Scooby Doo? The film could have had fun, for example, with the potential lesbian dynamic between Gellar's Daphne and Cardellini's Velma, yet the filmmakers are either so weary of appealing to a young mass market or so uninspired by the material as to reduce the best scene to a burping and farting contest between Shaggy and Scooby. The casting of Gellar (aka Buffy) and her real-life fiancé Prinze Jr could have added some real spice and spunk to the movie, but the possibilities are again ignored. Only Cardellini and Lillard as the Shagster earn their Scooby Snacks - especially Lillard, whose re-creation of the husky voiced character is the only scary thing about the mystery on Spooky Island. The technical side of the film is also horribly unbalanced. Turning a poorly animated, unfunny cartoon into a live action feature film is one thing. Mixing a digitised Great Dane into the scene is another. Didn't Warner Brothers learn anything from Rocky and Bullwinkle or Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Audiences just don't warm up to this strange meeting of two methods - it just doesn't gel on screen. It's plain to see, however, that more effort has gone into the costumes and the sets than the dog of a script. Dog with flees. The brainwashing plot makes the silly original cartoon seem like Shakespeare in comparison, and the pop music soundtrack is so-five-minutes-ago. This is a marketing exercise that really bites, for like the tagline says, "Doo happens". Who says there's no truth in Hollywood?
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SCOOBY DOO (G)
CAST: Freddie Prinze Jr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Scott Innes, Rowan Atkinson
PRODUCER: Charles Roven
DIRECTOR: Raja Gosnell
SCRIPT: Craig Titley, James Gunn (story); James Gunn (screenplay); William Hanna, Joseph Barbera (characters)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Eggby
EDITOR: Kent Beyda
MUSIC: Chris Ballew, David Newman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bill Boes
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 20, 2002
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.