http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4824&reviewer=233

Scooby-Doo

Reviewed By Collin Souter
Posted 06/17/02 03:38:32

"It's time to thin the herd!"
1 stars (Total Crap)

Excuse me, but when did we last do an inventory blow-out? I’m looking over the papers and it seems as though we haven’t cleaned the Hollywood House of Starpower in over 10 years. Over 10 years!?! According to our papers, we last cleaned House back in 1990, when it seemed a good time to take stock of Hollywood’s situation with regard to it’s so-called “A and B-list.” You may remember this. A new decade lay before us and certain people just had to go. Yahoo Serious, gone! Steve Gutenberg, gone! Andrew McCarthy, gone! Patrick Dempsey… Ah-ha! I saw that! Not many people here even know about Patrick Dempsey. Why? Because, he’s GONE! Those of us who do remember “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Run” know exactly why we nixed him. Ladies and gentlemen, with the release of “Scooby-Doo,” I believe now would be a GREAT time for an inventory blow-out in the Hollywood House of Starpower.

True, we should have done this years ago with the release of “Boys and Girls” or even last year with “Someone Like You,” but woulda-coulda-shoulda will get us nowhere. Now is the time for vigilance, for awareness. Certain people have been taking up space for too long. Their sub-par standards for picking out scripts put us all at risk and, frankly, costs us (and the studios) too much money. Does anybody actually miss any of the above-mentioned names? No? Didn’t think so. True, they have popped up here and there in small supporting roles, but they don’t hurt people the way they used to. “Scooby-Doo,” because we didn’t act fast enough, hurts everybody.

It hurt the hell out of me, alright. I really shouldn’t waste time going into the storyline, especially since I stopped following the plot about 20 minutes in. How could I? The pain grew monstrous! Moron Matthew Lillard as stoner Shaggy palling around with what has to be the most ill-conceived computer-generated character since…oh, I don’t know, I hate to be obvious, but Jar-Jar Binks. In fact, so annoying is Scooby-Doo, it almost seems like an insult to Jar-Jar to invite him into the comparison. But, seriously, the entire 87-minute duration of “Scooby-Doo” may as well be entitled “Jar-Jar Binks: The Movie.” Yes, it’s that painful. (And no, I never saw the stupid TV show)

I’m not kidding, this movie almost broke me. I literally almost started crying about half-way through. The movie stinks as bad as a silent fart in a suit of armor. Merely dismissing it as “too cartoonish” lets it off easy. Hey, I like cartoons. I enjoy them, but only when they have the slightest ounce of wit about them. I enjoy them when they have an inventive sense of humor. And I enjoy the movie versions when they aspire to be more than just a live-action cartoon (“Josie and the Pussycats”). “Scooby-Doo” takes the worst, most moronic and badly-drawn cartoon you can imagine and actually dumbs it down even further in case the toddlers in the audience still have some drool hanging from their mouths from a lobotomy operation.

Okay, now on with the Blow-out. We’ll start with Freddie Prinze Jr, who plays Fred. Now, let’s take a good, hard look at the track record of one Freddie Prinze Jr. “She’s All That.” No harm done, really. I kinda like that Rachel Leigh Cooke. On the other hand, it was the hit that spawned countless other hurtful rip-offs, many of which starred Freddie Prinze Jr. “Boys and Girls,” “Down To You,” “Summer Catch,” and now “Scooby-Doo.” Word has it that Freddie Prinze Jr. demanded the part of Fred, because he felt only he could do it justice. I'm not kidding. Nope, not interested in Hamlet. Not Stanley Kowalski. Not even a bit part in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” Nope. Fred from Scooby-Doo. How did this no-talent idiot get a SAG card? The verdict? It’s a no-brainer. He has to go.

On to Sara Michelle Gellar, who plays Daphne. Now, this paragraph might annoy the “Buffy” fans out there, but what can I say? I never saw a single episode of that show and if I ever decide to, it won’t be because of this Belle of Blandness (It will be for the Flute Girl from the “American Pie” movies. Now she’s cute). Whatever charismatic presence Gellar has that carries that show gets completely undermineded by her boring, overdone and piercing performance in this turd. If she can act—and I’m not necessarily saying she can’t if she’s able to carry a show for that long—where are her instincts for picking good scripts? “Simply Irresistible,” “Cruel Intentions” and an un-credited role in “She’s All That.” Is the success of “Buffy” a fluke? She must be stopped.

Matthew Lillard, who may be this generation’s Eddie Deezen (who would be right at home in a movie such as this), grates on my nerves like an Aaron Neville “Best-of” album. His wacky, spoiled L.A. kid demeanor may have been okay in “Scream,” but he’s been mercilessly torturing us with it ever since. Another alumnus of “She’s All That,” Lillard has since gone onto “13 Ghosts,” “Summer Catch,” “Wing Commander,” and now, “Scooby-Doo.” He’s basically a drunken frat boy with the luck of Forrest Gump. He’s not an actor. He’s a nightmare to those who actually work for a living. Lose him.

Those are the big three, but let’s throw “director” Raja Gosnell into the tar pits while we’re at it (also responsible for “Home Alone 3,” “Never been Kissed” and “Big Momma’s House”). For him and his crew, I say we revoke their union cards, set up a Chuck-E-Cheese or a Discovery Zone out in the middle of the Outback and let them try and manage it. Oh, and also, cut off their arms. Although putting them in Australia still might make them a little too close to the film industry, so we may want to re-think that. Sarajevo or Wyoming might be an okay place for them to set up shop and, more importantly, it might even break their spirit, so let’s go with that. Raja Gosnell and company…GONE!

Prinze, I’m thinking, might be better suited as a weekend car wash attendant with a mullet. If we can have his SAG card revoked and set him up with a Dokken groupie to impregnate, freeze his assets and “conveniently” find him a trailer park to inhabit, that might benefit all of humanity. On the other hand, I’m thinking that staging a life-altering “accident” would be more beneficial, certainly more fun. All we need is some barbed wire, a forklift and a dumpster and we’re in business. All agree? Good. Freddie Prinze Jr.…GONE!

Gellar I’m willing to go easy on. A few years doing customer service at The Chicken Donut or Medieval Times might knock some sense into that vacant Barbie doll noggin. Or maybe doing some telemarketing for a medical supply company would do the trick. She can no longer co-host anymore award shows. We’re together on that, right? I’m giving her a small benefit of the doubt, but she still shouldn’t go un-punished for her crimes. We’ll let her pick her own fate: Either one of the above-mentioned occupations or a custodian at Overhagey’s All-Nude Peep-Show Palace. All agree? Good. Sara Michelle Gellar…GONE (For now)!

For Lillard, I’m thinking of a punishment Thunderdome style. Just strap him to a donkey with his hands tied behind his back and an oversized clown mask over his head. Keep the donkey well-fed but don’t ever let Lillard leave the Arabian Desert. Let him fend for himself. Agreed? Good. Matthew Lillard…GONE!

Finally, Sugar Ray. Yes, the rock band. Can you imagine the band meeting that took place? “Guys, duh, I think it would be good for our career to appear in this ‘Scooby-Doo’ movie. Duh, we get to sing a song and it’s integral to the, duh, plot. Plus, I look really, really cute and, duh, I really oughta be in pictures, like that Vanilla Ice guy. Whatdya’ say?” “Duh, okay. Let’s do it. We’re dumb.” Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, Third Eye Blind…the whole lot of them, please. Agreed? Good. GONE! (McDonalds is always hiring.)

Boy, if life were only like this. Sometimes, as the Sam Lowry character does in my favorite movie “Brazil,” you have to disappear into your own imagination and dream up the world you want to live in. I truly do wish we could put all those responsible for this movie on trial for art crimes against humanity. I don’t want to kill them, you understand. That would be letting them off easy. Just punish them without mercy.

I realize I haven’t said much about what makes “Scooby-Doo” so bad. Where would I start? It shouts at you. It farts at you. It mugs incessantly. Its CGI effects look half-finished. Think of the most annoying used-car salesman in your area and their commercials. Imagine a whole movie made up of people like that and even they would be more engaging and worthwhile than any of the characters in “Scooby-Doo.” It doesn’t feel the least bit sweet, fresh or forgiving. It is a movie conceived by the dullest of minds and made with utter contempt for its audience.

Look, we can act now so that this sort of thing does not happen again. Now, we just got word that an “Underdog” movie is currently in the works, but no actors have yet been cast. As they do in “Minority Report,” we may be able to stop a crime before it happens. We can punish those who would be responsible. Find every copy of the screenplay and burn it. Find all those who say, “Dude, an Underdog movie. They better not screw that up” and knock some sense into them. WAKE UP, GUYS! “The Flintstones” (plus sequel), “Rocky and Bulwinkle,” “Inspector Gadget”…”Scooby-Doo!” All someone has to do is say, “Quiet on the set…Action!” and it’s screwed up. We must hurry and make a mad dash to the Hollywood House of Starpower. We have to warn the others. We have to make them believe. This just can’t happen anymore.

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