Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

  • 2004
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Adventure, Comedy, Horror

Proving that bigger isn't necessarily better, the second live-action Scooby-Doo movie features more action and computer-generated monsters, but not funnier jokes or a more coherent script. The Mystery Inc. crew — Fred (Freddy Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Velma (Linda Cardellini), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo (voice of Neil...read more

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Reviewed by Ethan Alter
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Proving that bigger isn't necessarily better, the second live-action Scooby-Doo movie features more action and computer-generated monsters, but not funnier jokes or a more coherent script. The Mystery Inc. crew — Fred (Freddy Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Velma (Linda Cardellini), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo (voice of Neil Fanning) — is being honored by the grateful residents of their home town, Coolsville, with a museum exhibit of costumes worn by various bad guys they've defeated over the years. But the opening-night gala is disrupted when one of the costumes comes to life, wreaks havoc and escapes; adding insult to injury, a masked figure appears at the museum and ridicules Mystery Inc. And the worst news is yet to come: This mysterious villain has created a machine that can bring other monsters from Mystery Inc.'s past to life. Could it be Jeremiah "Old Man" Wickles (Peter Boyle), aka The Black Knight Ghost, who was recently released from prison? Or Patrick Wisely (Seth Green), the nerdy museum curator on whom Velma has a crush? As the Mystery Inc. sleuths race to uncover their new foe's identity before Coolsville is reduced to rubble, they're hounded by ace TV reporter Heather Jasper-Howe (Alicia Silverstone), who blames them for the monsters' rampage. Her criticisms slowly chip away at the team's self-confidence and cause each to question his or her place on the team. Although SCOOBY-DOO (2002) was no classic, it avoided the heavy-handed moralizing that plagues most children's entertainment. Not so with this sequel, which includes numerous sanctimonious life lessons that are not only clumsily written but completely at odds with the source material — the cartoon Shaggy and Scooby were never racked with guilt for being bumbling screw-ups. The cast does its best to get through these sappy moments and back to more crowd-pleasing shtick. Lillard has Shaggy's voice and body mannerisms down pat and Cardellini clearly enjoys injecting Velma with some sex appeal; Gellar and Prinze are suitably wooden as Daphne and Fred. The film is a technical improvement over the original, though Scooby remains the ugliest digital creation this side of Jar Jar Binks. Still, while the elaborate action sequences are impressive — notably the giant tar-monster battle — they're not particularly exciting. The lame gags keep on coming and the mystery is both blindingly obvious and needlessly complicated: You might as well just watch an episode of the cartoon.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Proving that bigger isn't necessarily better, the second live-action Scooby-Doo movie features more action and computer-generated monsters, but not funnier jokes or a more coherent script. The Mystery Inc. crew — Fred (Freddy Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sara… (more)

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