The 330th review!
My vacation is over in less than a week. Despite my best efforts, I did not become disgustingly wealthy during my time off yet, so it's looking more and more likely I will go back to work on Tuesday as a mild-mannered news producer. Oh well... anyways, it took a while, but we finally managed to find a movie that President Baby would approve of and we watched...
Scooby Doo (2002)
I used to love these cartoons growing up. All my brothers and sisters used to watch and love the show as well. I could go up to any of them today and say, "Coin! Coin!" (Which I do to Dear and President Baby often) and all of them would know exactly what I was referencing. I enjoy it so much that I was always hesitant about what Hollywood would do with it so I skipped the movies.
So, Scooby and the gang have a falling out after a successful case. Fred is a glory hog, Daphne is tired of always getting kidnapped and Velma is sick of Fred taking credit for her plans. Eventually though they're all brought back together by the owner of "Spooky Island" to investigate a mystery.
This movie has no business being as good as it is. I think a lot of that is because of the casting. It was was perfect, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddy Prinze Jr. played Fred and Daphne, Linda Cardellini is very good as Velma, but the best part is Matthew Lillard as Shaggy. There's no replacing Casey Kasem as the character, but Lillard is outstanding. From the look, the mannerisms and, of course, the voice Lillard completely owns the role. It's a joy to watch. Scooby Doo is also a highlight. The movie was made in 2002, so the CGI is really terrible, but it adds to the movie's charm and Scooby is a lot of fun in this. I really liked every character's portrayals and the chemistry they had with each other. I liked Fred's cocky airheadedness, Velma's dry delivery, Daphne's over the top reactions to what was going on and the friendship because Scooby was Shaggy ranged from fun, to funny to heartwarming.
Another entertaining aspect about this movie are the cameos and familiar faces peppered throughout. Isla Fisher is in there, Rowan Atkinson plays the eccentric island owner and to add to the insanity the band Sugar Ray is in there! I admit, I laughed when I saw them. Everything about Scooby Doo feels like a wonderful time capsule from that period in time.
James Gunn, of Guardians of the Galaxy fame, wrote the screenplay and originally it was going to more raunchy and more of a parody of the cartoon. But somewhere along the line it was changed to a straight forward family friendly comedy with some more adult humor thrown in. Honestly, I think that was the right decision. It's entertaining, and you know what? It's pretty damn funny. For instance, everyone watching the old cartoon assumed Shaggy was a stoner. In the original screenplay it flat out made him one. But in the revised edition there are a bunch of little gags that really hit the mark. After the gang breaks up the camera fades to a beach where you see a bunch of smoke coming from the Mystery Machine while "Pass the Dutchie" plays. You assume it's because Shaggy and Scooby are blazing, but nope, they're grilling in the van. Then when he meets Fisher, she says her name is Mary Jane and Shaggy responds with, "That's like my favorite name!" \
One of the parts that made me laugh the loudest involves a throwaway gag in the second act that I found hilarious in the third. At a bar there's a phone call for a "Mr. Doo." A young man named "Melvin Doo" reaches for it, but finds out it's not for him. It's a little scene and you don't even notice it once it's over. But later in the movie the baddie is explaining to Scooby that all he needs to complete his transformation is Scooby Doo. Scooby looks aghast and asks, "Me?! Don't you mean Melvin Doo?" It's so stupid and funny, it got a laugh out of me.
Pretty much all the actors hated the movie. Lillard has come around on it because he was rightly praised for his portrayal, but I don't see why they don't like it. It's a lot of harmless fun. The film is full of silliness that's a lot of fun, like when they end up switching bodies leading to some funny hijinx. I mean, the movie was never going to be a masterpiece, but it's very entertaining! I really enjoyed it and laughed quite a bit. The best praise I think I can give it is that it felt like the old cartoons that I grew up with and I'm disappointed I never got around to watching this when it came out.
8 Dr. Chainsaws!
1 HR 26 MIN PG 2002 HD 5.1
Two years after Mystery Inc. closed its doors, Scooby-Doo, Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma are individually summoned to Spooky Island to investigate a series a paranormal incidents at the ultra-hip Spring Break hot spot.
Cast & Crew Daphne Blake - Sarah Michelle Gellar Fred Jones Jr. - Freddie Prinze Shaggy Rogers - Matthew Lillard Velma Dinkley - Linda Cardellini Scooby-Doo - Neil Fanning
Producers Executive Producer - William Hanna Executive Producer - Joseph Barbera
Directors Director - Raja Gosnell