We are all, in some way or another, Scooby-Doo. Mr. Doo represents everything good and wholesome about humanity, and the world would be a better
place if everyone was as trusting, genuine and loveable as that beloved canine.
Bringing this pinnacle of human behavior to the big screen is a daunting task for anyone. How to play it? Light and simple, with something for the
whole family? Or do you get subversive and weird and wink at the audience a la The Brady Bunch Movie?
Turns out, they did both. The original film was highly subversive, but the powers that be chickened out and created a film for the whole family
It's simply a matter of blind luck that it worked.
Scooby-Doo is a very fun movie. Silly, irreverent, goofy, highly enjoyable. Sure, I would have loved to explore Velma's sexuality and obvious
attraction to Daphne. Sure, I would have loved to find out just what is in a Scooby Snack. But taking the safe road, while a slight
disappointment, nevertheless works wonderfully.
Why does it work? First of all, the story is appropriately ridiculous- strange things are afoot at the Spring Break Vacation Spot, Spooky Island.
Scooby and the gang (Mystery Inc. in case you don't remember) are brought in to solve the mystery and save everyone.
Secondly, Scooby-Doo, 100% CGI, looks great. This could have been a disaster, CGI Scooby would make or break this film, and he works. He's lovable,
emotive, and down right fun to watch.
Third, Matthew Lillard was born to play Shaggy. Fred, Velma and Daphne are all fine and dandy, but Lillard's Shaggy steals the show. He should be
cryogenically frozen right now and only brought out when they make another Scooby-Doo film (and there will be others. Oh yes, there will be others).
And while all of the naughty little secrets of Scooby-Doo are glossed over (Are Fred and Daphne getting it on? Is Shaggy high all the time?), the
non-naughty secrets are right there and everyone has a good time playing with them. Fred loves Fred. Daphne loves carry-on baggage. Scooby and
Shaggy eat constantly. The world is a groovy and exciting place when Mystery Inc. is around.
What you end up with crosses all age barriers. You can bring your six year old and they will like it. You can bring your fourteen year old and they
will probably like it. You can bring your thirty-five year old and they will like it. You can bring your sixty-two year old and they will like it,
but think it would have been better if Clark Gable had played Shaggy.
The production values on this shoot are top notch. Spooky Island looks like a hip vacation spot for those rowdy spring breakers. It's the kind of
place I always told people how great it would be to go to just before setting off to spend spring break with my parents. It's everything I love about
big budget movies. If I wanted to make a movie about an island vacation resort, I'd be dressing up a friend's apartment and covering the windows with
posters of the beach. Hollywood wants to build an island vacation resort, they build an island vacation resort on an island. Then, when the movie
wraps, they open the resort up to
tourists and make a fortune.
Damn that Hollywood and their damn money.
All told, I magically and mysteriously grant Scooby-Doo 4 1/3 Babylons. And I'm as shocked as anyone else to be saying that.
Ry really riked ris rovie roo, ralthough ry rill rink rat re Relf Rade Ritic is a rork.
Directed By: Raja Gosnell
Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Rowan Atkinson, Scott Innes, Isla Fisher and Rin Tin Tin as
Scooby-Doo. OK, maybe not, but don't you think Mr. Tin would have been a great Scooby? I mean that dog could act!