is opening a museum largely dedicated to the phoney ghosts
exposed by the Mystery Inc team. But real ghosts start to
emerge, our heroes are disgraced and there's a scene with
Velma in a red leather jump suit...
it didn't take long for the obvious gag to emerge: wouldn't
Scooby-Doo Doo have been a better title for this sequel
than one using the traditional numerical format? Well, so
help me, but I actually preferred the new movie.
You can waste an awful lot of words on a film like this. In
essence, it's a well-enough mounted 'product' from the Hollywood
machine. Much as the original cartoon was itself a result
of the tighter economics and content demands that TV applied
to animation. Remember, many animation purists believe that
Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera have a lot to answer for. This
at least has some top-dollar sets and SFX.
Scooby-Doo 2 is infinitely better than the original,
it's partly because the main players are much more settled
in their roles. Lillard's uncanny take on Shaggy aside, you
felt that the other three Mystery Inc performers spent SD1
giving excessively self-conscious performances: "Hey, look,
I'm a cool actor doing this dumb movie, so I'm gonna be post-modern
about it - you dig."
time around Prinze's Freddie, Gellar's Daphne and Cardellini's
Velma offer a lot more honest (let's not use words like 'realistic'
here), and more affectionate takes on their 2D inspirations.
director Gosnell and scriptwriter James Gunn also serve up
something a lot closer in feel to the original: creepy settings,
lashings of suspects and red herrings, literally 'monstrous'
nods to the original series, some great slapstick and a satisfyingly
they've topped that off by luring some excellent comic actors
into supporting roles, including Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein),
Seth Green (another Buffy alumnus), Tim Blake Nelson
(O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Alicia Silverstone
(Clueless). They know the job; they do it well.
for Lillard? He made the first movie tolerable; now he's got
even better. It's not just that he visually defines Shaggy
in human form, but also that, with usually nothing more to
play off than the CGI Scoobster, his performance and timing
are absolutely spot-on. Sure, it's perhaps a technical rather
than an artistic point but the film still wouldn't work without
of the po-mo persists, so do the fart jokes, and Scooby's
eyeballs are still extremely scary, but, again, even the original
slapped on the innuendo. Plenty of 11 year-olds with older
siblings discovered the word 'stoner' and its true meaning
courtesy of Shaggy. Well, this one did - but the main point
is that SD2 has a much stronger link with its spiritual
predecessor than it's been given credit for.
those of us 18 and above, it's a mindless nostalgia trip with
quite a few laugh-out-loud, goofy gags (more, indeed, than
many much better-reviewed comedies). And it works a treat
for kids too - my own 7 year-old suggested a "gazillions"
out of 10 rating. Er, maybe not. This is really just cinematic
Ronseal, but, for the converted, it's still worth a 7.
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