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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 Todd LaPlace

"Jinkies! It sucks!"
1 stars

I was lucky enough to be in a master’s level class taught by J. Hoberman of the Village Voice. The class was a semester-long seminar on film criticism and one of the assignments was to look for some utopian element in a bad movie. One of my classmates took on “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.” J. Hoberman called him the bravest student in the class, for taking on such a completely dismal movie. After also working my way through the sequel, I have to agree. “Scooby Doo 2” may be the worst movie ever made.

Mystery Inc. may be back in action, but I’m not sure I’m ready to hire them. I honestly went into “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” with the highest of hopes. I mean, it’s a sequel to a bad family movie that’s based on a cult cartoon, one of my favorites, but there was definitely hope for some meta-aware satire that would not only be entertaining, but witty as well. I should have known better.

The whole gang — ascot-wearing leader Freddy (Freddie Prinze Jr.), ass-kicking glamazon Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), glasses-wearing super nerd Velma (Linda Cardellini), munchie-having hippie Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and, of course, that annoying CGI-version of Scooby — are gathered in their hometown of Coolsville to celebrate the opening of a sleuthing museum featuring the costumes of their greatest foes. Like a flashing neon open sign, the gala attracts the attention of a new baddie, intent on swiping the old costumes to turn them into real monsters.

For some unknown reason, director Raja Gosnell and writer James Gunn decided to really infuse these costumes with a magical animation, making the cheesy crooks-in-costume ghosts into real ghosts. Part of the repetitious fun of “Scooby Doo” was to try and unmask the criminal and explain his methods before Velma did the same, but it’s a little more difficult to enjoy it when the explanation is, “Oh, that’s a real tar monster. He’s able to pull off his wizardry because he’s a real freakin’ ghost.” Maybe it’s just me being a bitter, jaded 20-something, but even 10 year olds, who have probably seen a bunch of the old episodes thanks to a syndication deal that seemingly puts in on at least one channel all day long, are bound to be bored by this sorry excuse of an episode.

Despite my dislike of the real ghost angle, it at least provides an opportunity to nostalgically reflect on this cultural icon. The ghosts, which included Miner 49er, the Black Knight Ghost, Captain Cutler and, my personal favorite, the 10,000-Volt Ghost, are all returnees from the cartoon, many of whom appeared in the opening credits (in case you missed a few of the actual episodes). At the same time, Shaggy and Scooby acknowledge their own foibles, commenting on how they always manage to screw up the trap by getting rocket-powered roller skates glued to their feet “18 times.”

Just about the only people not capturing the spirit of the old cartoon are the actors themselves. Prinze, Gellar and Cardellini all act more like caricatures of their cartoon selves, which is a pretty impressive feat of failure as the cartoon versions were pretty much one-dimensional characters themselves. Each has a moment like Shaggy’s roller skate comment, but none of them seem to be enjoying the process enough to get it like Lillard. When rushed by fans at the museum opening, Freddie pulls out enough ascots for all, but Prinze is doing little more than reciting a line. When Daphne’s value to the group is questioned (she lacked those sweet hand-to-hand combat moves in the cartoon and made up for it in fashion sense), Gellar reacts, but it seems superficial. It looks like the mugging Lillard, having to act like a stoner next to a puppet standing in for Scooby, was the only one to get how completely absurd the whole ordeal is.

The real conundrum is how the movie attracted so many talented actors to sully their names by appearing in this tripe. The gifted Seth Green, Peter Boyle, Tim Blake Nelson and Alicia Silverstone (um, ignore that last one) all make appearances as potential suspects. Always the comic life of any movie, Green is the museum’s curator who’s got a few shady dealings and a jonesin’ for Velma. Boyle is Old Man Wickles (okay, score one for Gunn), a former costumed-criminal recently released from a Mystery Inc.-caused prison term. Silverstone is a trash TV reporter that seems to have it out for the gang. Nelson is Wickles former cellmate, another costumed menace who made a failed jailbreak when his mechanical wings plunged him into the ocean. So which, if any, did it? I only wish we cared by the time Velma fills us in on the final solution.

Despite Hoberman’s reservations, I honestly wanted to go into “Scooby Doo 2” without any preconceived notions. I wanted to witness a movie I could enjoy on a purely popcorn level and not be forced to overanalyze it as if it were a real movie. Alas, it was not to be. Maybe that’s why Hoberman gets paid the big bucks.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8914&reviewer=401
originally posted: 03/20/06 16:37:23
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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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