Scooby Doo 2
Director: Raja Gosnell
Cast: Freddy Prinze Jr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini
Reviewer: Fraser Dallachy
The highly successful Mystery Inc. face a potential backlash from the citizens of Coolsville when they come up against a mystery they may not be able to solve, whilst Scooby and Shaggy attempt to prove their worth by embarking on their own sleuthing expeditions.
The first live-action outing for Scooby Doo was a riot of colour and fun, loved by many fans of the cartoon, though loathed by the cynical. Those who enjoyed themselves at the original will revel again in the cast’s perfect performances (especially Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, and Linda Cardellini’s Velma), whilst those who hated it should steer well clear. Scooby Doo 2 moves closer to the feel of the original animation, deploying over-the-top villains and cartoonish set-design to great effect. For a Hollywood movie, it feels strangely personal, as if made by real fans of the cartoon.
However, in amongst the clowning around, the film tries to reach a level of maturity, attempting to address an issue fundamental to Scooby Doo in all his incarnations – appearance versus reality; the contrast of who you are against who you want others to perceive you as, and what actually happens against what the media reports. Though this ‘love the real you’ moral message doesn’t grate, it can feel a little heavy-handed at times.
Ultimately, though, if the film is let down by anything, it is the overly elongated ending – the final battle is fought twice, and manages to drag both times. Fortunately, an awkward climax doesn’t ruin an otherwise entertaining movie, sparkling with humour and fun. Go to see Scooby Doo 2 intending to enjoy yourself, or don’t go at all.