Well, kids (of all ages), the long-awaited movie version
of your favorite bizarre 1970s mystery thriller cartoon is
here at last.
Scooby Doo has, hands-down, the most right-on, movie
tagline of the year: ďBe afraid. Be kind of afraid.Ē Die-hard
and casual fans of the original cartoon alike will be impressed
by the fabulous casting, the dazzling special effects, the
groovy costume design and the live action portrayals of the
youth-sleuth caricatures we all know and love.
Even though I canít say it with a straight face, itís true:
I love the Scooby Doo movie! Itís highly entertaining,
fast paced, appropriately campy, and occasionally hilarious.
Basically, the fearless foursomeóFred (Prinze), Daphne
(Gellar), Velma (Cardellini), and Shaggy (Lillard),
along with their loyal pet Scooby, are going along their merry
way pulling masks off thieves and the like. Then the egos
get in the way. Fred is Mr. Hollywood, and he always takes
sole credit for the groupís achievements. Daphne is tired
of playing the damsel in distress role. Velma is sick of the
lack of teamwork. Since Shaggy is the only one left wanting
to stick together, they each go their separate ways.
Skip forward two years, and the group is reunited for a mission.
Theyíve each been called upon by Mondavarious (Atkinson),
the slightly creepy owner of Spooky Island, a tropical amusement
park/resort exclusively for highly attractive students between
the ages of 18 and 23. They reluctantly comply and begin searching
for clues. I wonít give away the rest of the plot, because
itís not as formulaic or expected as, say, the cartoon series.
The most annoying parts of the film were, in ranked order:
crying toddlers in the theater; excruciatingly cheesy moments
of romance between certain unnamed members of the gang toward
the end of the film; Mr. Bean not getting any funny lines,
nor enough screen-time. Otherwise, way better than expected.
The aging teenybopper crew, fiancťs Freddy Prinze Jr. and
Sarah Michelle Gellar, were so perfect for their roles that
it seems they must have some of the vain, airheaded qualities
of their characters in real life. Scream alum Lillard
looks and sounds wonderfully like kindhearted slacker Shaggy.
And relative newcomer Linda Cardellini is refreshingly nerdy
as the bespectacled Velma.
Last, but not least, Scooby Doo himself. At first, the computer-generated
animation was distracting, but soon I got used to it. And
who couldnít love Scoob, the bumbling dog detective who starts
every word with the letter R? Not this reviewer.
Looking for a worthwhile no-brainer this summer? Go see Scooby
ó Michelle Fajkus