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Overall Rating
2.34

Awesome: 4.69%
Worth A Look: 14.06%
Average: 29.69%
Pretty Bad: 14.06%
Total Crap37.5%

4 reviews, 40 user ratings


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Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
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by Jay Seaver

"85 minutes of bright colors, simple plot, and fairly obvious humor."
3 stars

I don't believe in "guilty pleasures". I enjoyed the first live-action Scooby Doo movie because the filmmakers managed to walk a pretty thin line between recreating what I had liked about the cartoon as a kid and spoofing it, which could be enjoyed by both nostalgic (and more-sophisticated) adults and the kids seeing the characters for the first time on the Cartoon Network.

And as much as the franchise is given some much-deserved ribbing for its primitive animation and formulaic plots, it has survived 35 years while a great many of its contemporaries and later cartoons have vanished with nary a trace. There's no shame in that.

I enjoyed Monsters Unleashed for pretty much the same reasons as the first one, and noticed pretty much the same weaknesses. Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini dive right in and become their cartoon characters, getting much more screen time than Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar because, quite frankly, Fred and Daphne never had a whole lot of personality. There just isn't as much to do with them, especially in a movie where a little character development is necessary. Not much, but enough to make it clear there's not much character to develop. Gellar is at least able to do early Buffy, a girl who can kick butt even though she'd rather be doing more ladylike things; Prinze is lost. Neither is able to just disappear into the roles in quite the way their cohorts do (their off-model costumes don't help).

The story, such as it is, is similar to that of the first movie - a group of young amateur detectives whose adventures generally end with them ripping a mask off someone disguised as a monster find themselves sucked into a situation with real supernatural elements, while at the same time having doubts about the team. This time it's their self-confidence that's been undermined as opposed to their trust in each other. This leads to Shaggy and Scooby striking out on their own to solve the mystery rather than running scared (well, they try), which of course leads them more directly into trouble. Able assistance is provided by "guest stars" Alicia Silverstone, as a reporter who makes them look like fools, Peter Boyle as a perfectly caricatured former foe recently released from prison, and Seth Green as a crime museum curator with eyes for Velma.

This is, for the most part, a kids' movie. It's about 85 minutes of bright colors, simple plot, and humor that is occasionally obvious and juvenile. People who dismiss a movie with fart jokes out of hand should stay away, although at least one is fairly clever. There were also at least two bits that my brother and I found quote-worthy on the way out of the theater, which isn't bad for a movie aimed at kids less than half my age. I think this movie benefits by writer James Gunn and director Raja Gosnell, who both return from the first, knowing what they're trying to do. The first sometimes didn't quite seem to know how far to take the more adult bits, and probably had to sort its tone out in editing, which is less than ideal.

This, though, is a surprisingly fun movie; I'm open to a third one (supposedly Prinze and Gellar aren't signed, but would anyone be terribly upset if they were replaced with, say, Casper van Dien and Alicia Witt?).

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8914&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/03/04 04:22:34
[printer] printer-friendly format  
TV to Screen: For more in the TV to Screen series, click here.

User Comments

10/26/09 Mr.Carrot73 Or, to put it less paradoxically, the essential thing in metabolism is that the organism 5 stars
10/26/09 Mr.Carrot16 You can see three things from the following picture: To explain what is going on, they star 4 stars
10/25/09 Arnold78 Of course, populist anger and libertarian conviction do not exhaust all possible answers ou 2 stars
10/24/09 Faggot25 Moving on, we have the inspiring response of the police to the online publishing of one of 3 stars
10/23/09 BadGirl70 Perhaps we draw closer to one another. , 3 stars
10/23/09 Alex98 He was also amazed at the effort it took to get people to place their recyclables in separa 2 stars
10/23/09 Kelvin89 India's Lok Sabha has a Question Hour. , 2 stars
10/23/09 No_limits25 The transparency of the project. , 5 stars
9/20/08 antreia dopson this movie is awesome and i love freddie prince jr and sarah michelle gellat 5 stars
3/27/07 David Pollastrini Stick with the cartoons 2 stars
6/23/06 drydock54321 it's entertaining and a good adaptation of the cartoon 4 stars
6/20/06 George It was okay ."Okay" 3 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych Lacks the charm and creepiness of the original cartoons, but loved Linda Cardellini! 3 stars
12/21/05 miss patience 5 THE MOST CRAPPYEST STUPIDEST I'V EVER SEEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/26/05 hunt way better than part 1 says me ,don't you get it 4 stars
11/26/05 cr better than part 1, improved flaws of the first, cool classic monsters,better story finally 3 stars
10/26/05 tatum My dead cat can direct better than Gosnell 1 stars
10/14/05 Fucka I'll vaffanculo this movie! 1 stars
7/22/05 tony worse than the first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
6/07/05 JD So corny and awful, should never have been made. 1 stars
3/12/05 Antirad Good. I loved Scooby's animation 4 stars
3/12/05 crandall101 not as good as the 1st one 3 stars
2/20/05 Jeff Anderson Better than the first & more enjoyable! Again Lillard & Cardellini are the saving graces!!! 4 stars
9/18/04 American Slasher Goddess Slightly, better then the first, but that's not saying much 1 stars
7/28/04 Donna Gelpigi Doesn't take itself too seriously, so better than many an action flick that does. 4 stars
6/12/04 Raymond Lee better than the first one 3 stars
6/03/04 Shaun SMG should have stuck with Buffy, Pretty Bad movie!!! 2 stars
4/18/04 Daveman At least the first film wasn't so sickiningly politically correct 1 stars
4/17/04 HeavensJustice If your kids don't drag you to the movie. DON'T GO! We'll just leave it at that. 1 stars
4/15/04 KingNeutron 2.5 *'s, the DOG is the WORST MOST UNFUNNY PART of the film EVAR; but LC hot as always. 2 stars
4/14/04 slayathon Best Part was the end with Seth Green dancing 2 stars
4/04/04 mason my 3 year old dug it, big dumb fun 4 stars
4/02/04 movieboy pretty good better then the first 4 stars
4/01/04 g is this a movie or an hour annd a FUCKING HALF OF PURE SHIT! STUPIFYING HORSESHIT! DAMN!!!! 1 stars
3/31/04 maxomai Just stab your eyes out. It's better for you. 1 stars
3/28/04 Margie according to a 10 yr old (my sister) it was great, according to me... pretty bad. 2 stars
3/28/04 Hilarium Not even a real movie. Stupid. 1 stars
3/27/04 Titus Not bad for a fun, silly flick. See it if you liked the first one. 4 stars
3/27/04 Bingo was his name-o Vile. 1 stars
3/20/04 Ray Its like what happens in the movie: a fart joke!!! 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Mar-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 14-Sep-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Apr-2004




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