Okay, let’s jump straight to the point – Scooby Doo 2 – Monster’s Unleashed is a bad bad bad movie. It’s horribly gaudy, OTT, annoying, and manages the quite impressive feat of being one of the stupidest films of all time. It shouldn’t have come as any surprise of course, but then the first movie somehow managed to be pretty fun, with it’s masterstroke being to make the ever annoying Scrappy Doo the big bad. As you know, Scrappy Doo’s the worst cartoon character ever created, it’s almost like they attempted to create the most irritating character ever made, yet I’ve read this apparently wasn’t the case. Either way, he was responsible for ruining a pretty fun cartoon so to see him finally get his comeuppance was worth the entrance fee alone. Add in a few knowing nods to the adult audience, loads of big set pieces, and a great deal of silliness and it made for an enjoyable if utterly forgettable piece of popcorn trash.
Scooby Doo 2 does it’s best to copy the formula of the first movie, it has a slightly post modern plot (all of the villains they’d previously defeated come back to wreck revenge, except that this time they’re real monsters), and there’s a decent enough set piece every ten minutes or so. So what’s wrong with it? The dialogue. Plain and simple. For they attempt character development, but it’s Hollywood blockbuster character development and painfully simplistic. Thus we get Velma (Linda Cardellini, normally great in everything but even she fails to overcome the terrible script) desperately wanting to get over her issues and have a relationship, Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby wishing to be bona fide heroes instead of accidental ones, Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr) getting (slightly) in touch with his sensitive side, and Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) worrying about being just a blonde bimbo. It’s patronising and poorly done and sucks anything even close to joy out of the movie, it’s supposed to be a fun if flimsy affair and such mawkish nonsense has no place whatsoever in such a flick.
If you can overcome this (maybe try and time trips to the toilet with the character development bits), you might like this movie a lot more than I did. There is some fun to be had with Scooby and Shaggy who once again make for a great double act, with some inspired and for once intentional stupidity on display, and one gag which sees Scooby transform in to another cartoon character is genuinely hilarious. Most of the set pieces are exciting enough and very occasionally the dialogue between them will raise the odd smile or two.
Overall though it’s just not good enough. It’s missing any of the originality and wit of the first movie, the script’s trivial and tacky, the product placement is the most blatant and obtrusive I’ve ever seen, the score’s a by the numbers Danny Elfman rip off, and the actors (bar Matthew Lillard who’s the only actor to walk away with any credibility from this) sleep walk through the movie, with Freddie Prinze Jnr showing yet again why he shouldn’t be allowed to act in any medium, not even amateur dramatics. Maybe, just maybe if you watched it post-pub and fast forward through the many duller moments you may not regret watching it, but you’ll probably have to drink several bottles of whiskey to do so.