Move over Anime! The Power of Friendship is strong in this one!
Scoob is one-part Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. origin story and two-parts weird current day supernatural mystery plot. Scooby Doo and the gang, along with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, must stop Dick Dastardly (Jason Issacs) from unleashing Cerberus from the Underworld. Yes, really. You read that correctly.
Oh, my favorite childhood franchise, what have they done to you?! They updated the old classic ‘69 cartoon and brought it into the 21st Century with current-day references to Netflix and the Hemsworth brothers. At least the references were funny, but when you grew up on Classic Era-Early 2000’s Scooby-Doo, they can feel out of place. They also replaced most of the original voice actors with big name celebrities except for Frank Welker who got reprise his role as Scooby. He was replaced as Fred by Zac Efron who actually surprisingly good, but still not the same. Most of the voice cast did great. The only major distraction was Will Forte as Shaggy. He gave it his best shot, but they should’ve just let Matthew Lillard play him. Also the animation isn’t bad, but could’ve been better. A more cartoony style would’ve been a better fit. Simon Cowell’s appearance felt unnecessary and completely out of place. The movie funny. Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) were the best part of the whole movie. There’s an emotional ending, but I won’t spoil it. Scoob is a mess, but at least it’s a fun mess! Stream it now on HBO Max.
SPOILER! Q: How long does it take to destroy Scrappy-Doo’s characterization? A: An hour and a half!
After taking credit for one too many solved cases, Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is the cause of the Mystery Inc. Gang’s split. Two years go by before they accidentally meet up at the airport after being invited to the Spooky Island amusement park to solve a mystery. College kids are acting strange after leaving the park. It’s up to Mystery Inc. to figure out why.
This movie was entertaining at times, and immature at others. Scooby-Doo (Neil Fanning) and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) have a belching contest that quickly turns into a farting contest. It’s an overextended scene that will appeal to a male audience though I admit I laughed. A lot. Though the original cartoon series was created for children, this live-action adaptation forgets that and dabbles with occult themes, symbolism, and rituals which will leave many parents, specifically Christian parents, scrambling for the remote. I don’t know how many kids would want to see a movie where Scooby-Doo is almost sacrificed so that these supernatural beings can take possession of his soul anyway. It would’ve been terrifying for me to sit through as a kid. There’s next to no language, one misuse of God’s name and whoopass is used once. (Thanks, Plugged in for catching what I did not.) And the girls wear revealing outfits. This movie fun and entertaining for the most part, but you’re better off sticking with the cartoon.
The cast was great though. Especially Linda Cardellini as Velma, and they should really consider casting Matthew Lillard to play Shaggy in the cartoon. His performance is just that good. Oh, wait, they did! I guess this movie was good for something after all! You can stream it now on HBO Max.
SPOILER AGAIN: Scrappy-Doo was behind the entire plot! It was dumb. Completely dumb. James Gunn ruined his character! Yes, I’m bitter. Slightly bitter!
During the Grand Opening of the Mystery Inc’s Past Villains Costume exhibit at the Coolsville Museum of Criminology, a mysterious masked figure shows up and steals the costumes. Mystery Inc, specifically Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), and Scooby (Neil Fanning),are blamed for not stopping the villain, and they fall from grace in the public eye. Shaggy and Scooby do their best to redeem themselves, but they along with the media, just make things worse. This leaves Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Daphne, (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Velma (Linda Cardellini) to stop monsters from their past from destroying Coolsville and restoring their public image. There’s also time for a sweet love story for Velma in the midst of all the monster chasing action.
This was worlds better than the original! Monsters Unleashed is all the classic cartoon fun with no occultic themes or imagery added. Also there’s no character assassination! And outside of one misuse of God’s name, no language! It’s a huge improvement over last time and was everything a Scooby-Doo live-action movie should be: fun for the whole family. I guess James Gunn can write a decent Scooby-Doo movie after all. You can stream Monsters Unleashed now on HBO Max.