Directed by Raja Gosnell.
Written by James Gunn.
Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda
Cardellini and Matthew Lillard.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 6/27/02
Yes, I saw it. In fact, I just HAD to see
it, because I had to know:
Is “Scooby-Doo” the worst movie of the year?
See, many of you remember that my hopes were
high when I walked into the theater to see
“Enough” with Jennifer
Lopez last month; I was wholeheartedly convinced that it was going
to take the cake as 2002’s worst film. But then, I saw it and it
really wasn’t bad, or maybe, it was better than it ever deserved to
But, I felt good about my chances with
“Scooby-Doo”, because all of the “ingredients” were there.
--Freddie Prinze, Jr.
His last three films? “Summer Catch”, “Head
Over Heels”, “Boys and Girls.” In fact, his only good film is still
“I Know What You Did Last Summer”, and that’s only because it had a
great script; it has nothing to do with his performance.
--a digital lead character
When I heard that the filmmakers decided
against any kind of puppet or animatronic Scooby for the
film—instead, they digitally inserted him into all of his scenes—I
was sure that this would be the nail in the coffin. A CG Scooby?
--a popular cartoon from my childhood
Hollywood is continuously messing with the
past when it is usually better off leaving it alone. I was sure
that, by fooling with a cartoon that most kids loved, Hollywood was
barking up the wrong tree by trying to turn “Scooby-Doo” into box
The ingredients were in place...but, in its
opening weekend two weeks ago, it made $56 million at the box
office, shattering the June box office records and my dreams that
this movie would really bomb. A sequel was announced for the
series, “Undercover Brother” fell out of the top ten...and, I saw
the movie this week, and it once again rises above my abysmal
Barely. The plot involves some nonsense
about a mysterious theme park owner (Rowan Atkinson, or “Bean” as he
is more popularly known) that gets college kids to come stay at his
Spooky Island resort and then brainwashes them to speak new-age jive
and other sorts of nonsense. It’s up to the gang—Fred (Prinze,
Jr.), Velma (Linda Cardellini), Daphne (Gellar), Shaggy (Matthew
Lillard) and Scooby—to figure out what the hell is going wrong.
Most of this movie really does suck. Prinze
is still an anomaly to me; he’s got almost no star quality, and
can’t act, and he doesn’t seem terribly handsome, but he has
headlined his last six or seven films. Once again, he makes an easy
role look not so easy, but he does have one funny scene where he is
dancing with Velma that brings some laughs. Gellar and Cardellini
do good work as they mostly match the styles of their TV
counterpart. And, even though he is totally animated, you don’t get
turned off by Scooby’s presence mostly because he has the best lines
in the film.
The real reason that this film doesn’t
suck? It has to be Lillard’s 100%-perfect performance as Shaggy;
man, just like Angelina Jolie’s performance in the no-account action
“Tomb Raider” from last June, Lillard brings to life a
character with a stunning resemblance to the form on which his
character is based. The voice, the faces, the movements...Lillard
just IS Shaggy, and even in a bad film like this, you have to give a
guy credit for going balls-deep with a role. And, because he has
the most screen time with the Scooby character, he is saying many of
his lines to something that isn’t even there and that makes it all
the more impressive.
Besides that, this movie blows.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard