Scooby-Doo (2002) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Scott Innes

Director: Raja Gosnell

From the opening scenes of the Scooby gang hot on the trail of their ‘ghost’ suspect (even though it all goes wrong in-between) the movie captivates its audience – and evn better, the loyal fans won’t be disappointed.

Mystery Inc is disbanded after the Scooby gang fall out with each other on their previous case and they go their separate ways for almost two years. That even includes Scrappy Doo, who was unceremoniously booted out of the Mystery Inc machine for peeing one time too many on Daphne.

The gang are all individually invited to solve a mystery on Spooky Island, a holiday resort, and congregate in an airport departure lounge. They tentatively re-group – not without incident though as Scooby-Doo is in disguise as Shaggy’s female companion – and travel to Spooky Island where they are welcomed by the owner Emile Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson), who explains why he wants them there and that’s where their latest adventure begins.

Sarah Michelle Gellar – of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER fame – shines throughout the film and excels as Daphne as she transforms her from a blonde bimbo role to one more akin to the slayer. Freddie Prinze Jr equally slips into Fred’s character, as does Linda Cardellini in her excellent portrayal of Velma. Scott Innes’ voice as Scooby Doo’s never fails to deliver while Matthew Lillard just hints at having had a more difficult challenge in sustaining Shaggy for the duration of the movie. The actors really portray the Scooby-Doo characters faithfully throughout mirroring their animated counterparts are so familiar to fans, remembering of course that Scott Innes has previously voiced Scooby in recent animated Scooby-Doo films.

Why this movie also succeeds so excellently is the attention to detail. Nothing is missed out that the fans are expecting, right down to the Scooby snacks, Scooby’s dislike of cats and Shaggy and Scooby’s immense appetites etc.

But being a die-hard BUFFY fan, its Sarah Michelle Gellar that makes the movie so perfect. The mysterious events at Spooky Island are original and scarily up to date (CGI-wise) but I won’t divulge how and why they threaten to spiral out of control on a global scale – you’ll have to watch the movie to find out more. There’s also an excellent twist at the end!

6 out of 6 stars