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Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

Scooby 2, Scooby-Doo 2

They came. They saw. They ran.

Directed by:

Raja Gosnell

Rating: 2/10

Running Time: 88 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: U

Country: United States

The people behind ‘Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’ owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mike Myers and the Cat in the Hat team. If it hadn’t been for them and their horrendous mangling of the Dr Seuss classic, ‘Scooby 2’ would undoubtedly be the worst movie of 2004.

Two years on from the success of the first movie, director Raja Gosnell, screenwriter James Gunn and the entirety of the lead cast (Freddie Prinze Jnr. as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Linda Cardellini as Velma, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and all topped off with an awkward-looking CGI Scooby) are all back for what you’d probably expect to be a passable, if underwhelming, follow-up. Seriously though, nothing could have prepared me for just how bad a film this is.

It opens with the town of Coolsville honouring the Mystery Inc. gang with a civic reception at the local museum of criminology. It’s supposed to be an opportunity for our beatnik buddies to lap up the adulation of the townsfolk following their latest crime-busting exploits – but it all goes botties up when a Pterodactyl costume springs to life and starts wreaking havoc amongst the other exhibits. Who could be responsible? Who will solve this flimsy mystery? Who cares?

This is a noisy, obnoxious, nauseating mess of a movie. Most of the story doesn’t make any sense (God knows how the target audience of little kids are supposed to follow it), the characters are downright annoying, and there’s a huge over-reliance on some excruciatingly bad special effects (the visuals in ‘Ghostbusters’ were more convincing, and that was made twenty years ago).

Most of the cast look like they’d rather be elsewhere – which, to be honest, is hardly surprising. Freddie Prinze Jnr. does next to nothing in this one, and even the perennially-irritating Matthew Lillard looks like his heart isn’t in it (admittedly, though, he does do a mean impersonation of original Shaggy-voicer Casey Kasem). Cardellini, as Velma (I always thought Daphne was supposed to be the better-looking one??), only seems to be there to reinforce that ridiculous age-old Hollywood doctrine that states the public can be fooled into believing a hottie is actually cripplingly unattractive, simply by sticking a pair of glasses on them. As for Sarah Michelle Gellar? Well, it’s only a few hours since I watched the DVD, and I honestly can’t remember what she did in it.

It's Got: An incessant, intrusive soundtrack that’s so bad that it’s actually a relief when the normally-pony Big Brovaz appear to do their “live performance” bit.

It Needs: To be neutered.

DVD Extras There’s a whole host of plopsy to trawl through – deleted scenes with commentary, deleted scenes without commentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette, a spoof Hollywood report, a ‘Dancing Dog’ montage, two interactive games, music vids, and some DVD-Rom add-ons. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Ghostbusters, Scooby Doo, The Haunted Mansion

Summary

Hopefully the final part of a franchise that’s gone to the dogs.

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