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Early Scooby 2 review

03.20.2004

Since I'm not likely to be reviewing this more kiddie-oriented movie on the site this coming week (I actually compared the ladies in the first installment to "high-class hookers"-- which is never good), here's yet another early review by 'MadsenOMC' (you can read his early look at GIRL NEXT DOOR here), who presents us with a spoiler-filled, negative review of SCOOBY-DOO 2: MONSTER'S UNLEASHED below. The film opens this Friday, up against Kevin Smith's JERSEY GIRL, the Coen Bros' THE LADYKILLERS and DMX's NEVER DIE ALONE. You can download SCOOBY wallpapers here.

I saw SCOOBY-DOO 2 this morning, surrounded by small children and their families. They were pretty well-behaved, thankfully. Full disclosure: I grew up on the cartoon. It's still my favorite animated show. My first childhood memory is being about three years-old and running home to watch it after by dad picked my up at the babysitters. The first movie ruined all of those memories. I think it is one of the worst movies ever made. I watched it with my mouth hanging open, marveling at successfully they botched it. It hardly resembles the show at all. The characters are almost completely changed, save for a few details here and there. Now, even if I let it slide that it didn't remain faithful to the show, it would still be a horrible movie.

I didn't expect this one to be any better. I have seen very little TV spots and trailers for it (is Warner Bros. dumping it? Not even a summer release like the last one?), but since the cast, writer and director all returned, there was no reason to believe it'd be an improvement. Well, it's about 100 times worse. So, there will always be at least one movie that's worse than the first one, the second one.

The story goes like this: The gang, Fred (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Velma (Linda Cardellini), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby (worst CGI ever put to film) resides in a town called Coolsville. We begin at the grand opening gala for the new Coolsonian Museum. They have a collection of all the costumes of the ghosts, ghouls and goblins that the gang have captured over the years. (No book release to be found, as is mentioned in the plot summary below.)

While touring the museum and talking to a reporter (Alicia Silverstone), explaining who the costumes belong to (Black Knight, Miner 49er, a pterodactyl, etc.), one of them (pterodactyl) springs to life and destroys the new museum, with help from gang, who have tried to save the day. The reporter takes some quotes from Freddie out of context, and in no time the gang is the disgraced laughingstock of Coolsville.

There's a very weird looking bad guy behind all this. He/she wears a metallic black mask that resembles the Green Goblin's, with long black hair coming out of the back, and all black clothes. He/she is trying to resurrect all of the monsters and turn them against the gang and Coolsville. It's up to the gang to find out who the weirdo is and why they're doing it. Plus, they have to solve their personal problems. Shaggy and Scooby are doubting their investigative abilities and feel the need to prove their worth. Daphne thinks she's just a pretty face and useless. Velma has a crush on the museum's curator Patrick (Seth Green). And the reporter keeps making dimwit Freddie look stupid on TV.

Who is the villain? Is it Patrick? Or the reporter? Or a wacko doctor who was the original pterodactyl (Tim Blake Nelson)? Or some old man whose name I can't remember and was also once captured by the gang (Peter Boyle)? Or maybe Scooby in a great twist? Keyser Soze?

Anyway, enough of the lame plot. The execution is dreadful. I was squirming in my seat, checking my watch every 10 minutes, praying for it to be almost over. It's barely 90 minutes long, but it drags and drags and feels five times that long. Where to begin in describing how truly terrible it is. For starters, the characters barely resemble their TV persona. Velma gets all sexed up and acts like a temptress, wearing a one-piece leather suit that keeps making fart noises (this movie loves fart humor). Daphne is a complete bimbo idiot who spends most of her time checking her makeup and giving fashion tips. Freddie is a meathead moron. For me, Shaggy was the lone bright spot in the first one. Here, he's merely annoying beyond belief. I wanted to put a bullet in his head. His voice seemed off, too, whereas I remembered it being pretty close in the last one.

Scooby? What can I say. He's atrocious. Abysmal. A disgrace to the show. A travesty. Looks hardly anything like the Scooby from the cartoon. He barks, which is dumb as hell. He puts on Daphne's sweater and go go boots. He puts on a '70s leisure suit, an afro and sunglasses and dances at a nighclub called The Faux Ghost, which looks like a shithole on the outside, but is a diverse hoppin' dance club on the inside. The scene is just wretched. You would think that improvements in CGI would have been made since the last one. But Scooby looks just as bad. He looks ridiculous and stupid. Pains me to see him that way.

The other CGI is even worse. It's really laughable. All of the monster's looks silly and oh so fake. All of the special effects are sets are really bad. They look cheap, and as if not much effort was put into them. The Black Knight talks way too much and is the worst of them all, appearance wise. But none are good, or even close to it.

They really stretch out those 90 minutes. Clearly screenwriter James Gunn and director Raja Gasnell (biggest hack of all-time?) didn't have many good ideas. There are chase scenes followed by chase scenes. I stopped caring after about 45 minutes. It gets extremely redundant. See monster(s) chase the gang. See them barely get away. Repeat over and over.

And there's more that sucks. Shaggy and Scooby rap. Ruben Studdard appears for a cheesy and idiotic group dance scene that plays during the closing credits. Bad fart jokes. Bad acting. I could go on and on. This one is aimed at very young viewers. There are very few attempts to please adults. And even the kids were bored. They laughed out loud maybe twice, because most of the movie is a boring chase scene. I chuckled twice, I think. The one and only thing I liked? When they unmask the villain at the end. Brought back fond memories of the show. The other 89 minutes just mercilessly destroys those memories. This is a train wreck. Easily a candidate for worst of the year.

2/10

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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