|Starring Freddie Prinze Jr, Sarah Michelle
Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard & Rowan Atkinson.
Screenplay by James Gunn & Craig Titley.
Directed by Raja Gosnelll.
Distributed by Warner
Brothers Pictures. 86 minutes. Rated PG.
My childhood is flashing before my eyes.
First the Spider-Man movie, now a live action Scooby-Doo. All my
Saturday morning favorites are hitting the multiplex. And since I seem to be the
only person in the world who remembers Prince Planet, I would guess this is as
good as I'll get in my Captain Crunchberries nostalgia rush. Unlike Spider-Man,
which is made for a broad audience who may not have even cared for the source material,
this film is purely for Scooby fans. If you loved the old series, the movie is a lot
of fun. If you never got the Scooby phenomenon, this film won't change your mind at
The first, and probably biggest problem with the film is Scooby himself.
Early on, you can't get over the fact that the computer animated pooch doesn't really look
like a dog at all. But the animation is good enough that his moves look realistic...
probably more realistic to the cartoon pooch than a real one... that you quickly get over
The humans in the cast vary, Matthew Lillard is fantastic as
Shaggy and steals every scene he's in. Linda Cardellini is pretty funny as Velma,
too, with a subtle simmering resentment for being the smart one who gets ignored because
she isn't pretty. Sarah Michelle Gellar does fine in the kind of one-note character
of Daphne, but Freddie Prinze Jr. is kind of miscast as straight-laced blowhard
The film flirts with a post-modern sense of humor, making one or two very soft
hints that Fred is a vain airhead, Velma may be more fond of Daphne than we used to think
and there may be a reason why Shaggy and Scooby always have the munchies. They even
chose a villain that will be rather satisfying to long-time watchers. In the long
run, they back away from this sarcastic approach though, which is probably a
mistake. The film would have been even better had they surrendered to that impulse,
it could have been another dumb classic like The Brady Bunch Movie. But it
is still mostly cool on it's own terms. Sure the story is stupid and doesn't really
make sense, that's kind of the point. Scooby
Doo is no great art, but it is
fun nostalgia. (6/02)
Jay S. Jacobs
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© 2002 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved.
Posted: November 6, 2002.