Directed by Raja Gosnell
Running Time: 1:33
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Tim Blake Nelson
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed was pretty much what you expect it to be. Badly written, poorly acted, and at times really boring, but still having just enough charm to keep it afloat.
The gang from Mystery, Inc. are heroes to the town of Coolsville. They're so popular, they even have a museum exhibit that has been created for them, complete with the costumes of all the bad guys they've unmasked over the years. But someone has come up with the diabolical plan of stealing all the costumes, and making them really come alive. The gang is cornered, but Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby come together once again to save the day. Zoinks!
I don't think anyone is going to go into Scooby Doo 2 expecting some kind of masterpiece. At least I hope they don't, because they're going to be very sorely disappointed. That being said, for us older viewers, it was kind of a kick to see some of the old ghosts and goblins that were introduced on the original cartoon series, like Miner 49er. I started having (non-drug related) flashbacks to watching the cartoon on Saturday morning TV back in the day. And while the live actors can never truly and faithfully re-create the Hanna-Barbera classics, it's still fun to see them try.
The one thing I really liked about the movie was the look. I think director Raja Gosnell should start directing comic book adaptations because he has a real eye for visuals. Every set was extremely deep and entertaining, which I kept finding surprising considering what the movie was. Generally in these kinds of sequels, I find that the sets and special effects are cheap because studios are just looking for a quick buck. They then end up burying the franchise and you never hear from them again. But in this case, it looks like a good amount of money was spent on the effects and the sets, and it made the movie watchable. So if Christopher Nolan doesn't do a good job with the next Batman film, I say hand the reins over to Gosnell and give him a crack at it.
The plot was just something to make the actors move and talk to one another. It sometimes got bogged down, especially during the love story section with Velma and Patrick, although I have to say, seeing Velma is red latex or vinyl or whatever it was, was a treat. The movie dealt a lot with the gang overcoming their own securities, and while it was laudible that writer James Gunn tried to add in a serious story line, it slowed the movie down a lot.
What was the deal with Daphne and her ever changing skirt/pant deal? There was one point where in the middle of a scene she went from wearing a skirt to wearing pants. I realize she had to fight people, Buffy-style, so the short skirt wasn't the best move, but still. It was when they were in their old high school hangout where she goes from the short purple skirt to pants, without any explanation. No one else changed clothes, just her. That kind of bothered me. For more than one reason. And why date your movie by having Ruben Studdard show up at the end? That immediately makes the movie unwatchable a year from now, or even a few months from now when a new Idol is crowned. Or maybe it's just because I'm a Clay fan, who knows.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed is pretty much what I expected it to be, but with strong enough visuals that it wasn't completely horrible. And that's a good thing. Oh yeah, and if you happen to have some Scooby Doo video game for Game Boy Advance, stick around because after the closing credits, they show you a game code.
Scooby Doo, Where Are You! -
The Complete First and Second Seasons
Rumblin' Mystery Machine
$29.99 Game Boy Advance
© 2004 Wolfpack Productions