Scooby Doo: The Movie


Rating 3

Directed by Raja Gosnell

Written by James Gunn and Craig Titley, based on the characters created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr, Mathhew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Isla Fisher and Rowen Atkinson

Let’s get the facts and figures out of the way first. ‘Scooby Doo’ went on general release in America in June 2002, one month after the release of another Sarah Michelle Gellar film, ‘Harvard Man’. It had a sizeable production budget, said to have been in the region of $60 million, and generated a $276 million box office gross.

The film opened to generally appalling reviews, although as ever some film critics liked it, content to view it for what it is. Gellar later admitted in interviews that she was hurt by some of the comments she had read and had taken the criticism very personally. Most people agreed that the casting of the four main characters was at least on the button, with special mention being made of Matthew Lillard’s scarily accurate portrayal of Shaggy.

I think this is a perfectly decent film that actually could have been really good. Proof of this can been seen in the deleted scenes featured on the DVD. Had these had been kept in the film I think it would have been much better. It is what is: a big, loud, dumb, live-action version of an affectionately remembered kid’s cartoon. Where it falls down is that it gets trapped between two stools. It can’t quite decide if it wants to appeal to adults who might be attracted to it because they have fond memories of the cartoon from their childhoods or simply go straight for the kid’s market. In the final analysis, it doesn’t quite get the balance right.

I was a fan of ‘Scooby Doo’ when I was young and I like both Gellar and Matthew Lillard, so I am already biased towards it. I will say that the farting scene bores me senseless. Farting is no doubt hilariously funny, if you happen to be five-years-old. After that the humour of it does start to wear off a little bit and this particular scene seems to go on and on and on interminably.

As it is, the film is still absolutely fine in its own unapologetic way. In the end, it’s just a fun film. I have an enormous capacity to watch films like this and I enjoyed it. There is no point expecting a cinematic classic. For goodness sake’s, it is ‘Scooby Doo’!


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