Saturday, 16 May 2020

Scoob! (2020)

Who doesn't like a good Scooby Doo adventure? After viewing this film, I went back and starting binging the Mystery Incorporated series, to remind me that there are much better stories. Don't get me wrong, this film isn't a disaster. I enjoyed it, and any film that features 'California Love' by 2pac gets my respect, but frankly, the script was not worth the big-screen treatment.

The film begins with the friendship origins of our titular dog and Shaggy as little kids. After adopting the stray following a mutual food encounter, the two encounter their fellow buddies, Velma, Daphne, and Fred on Halloween. After catching a signature monster in a haunted house, they decide to solves mysteries together.

Following the signature theme song and a montage, we cut to ten years later, where Mystery Incorporated wanted to expand. An investor, played by a fun celebrity cameo is interested but doesn't want Shaggy and Scooby due to their laziness, insatiable appetites, and the obvious fact that they are scaredy cats. After the duo goes to mope, they are attacked by cute, yet deadly robots, and are then saved by the superhero hero, Blue Falcon, who enlists their help in stopping Dick Dastardly.

The adventure was a fun one, but the strength of this franchise was always the relationship between Mystery Inc. Since this film serves as a reimagining and the potential start of a new franchise, the Scooby gang should have been together, rather than separated for a majority of the film. As a consequence, while the friendship between Shaggy and Scooby is given the spotlight, Velma, Daphne, and Fred are given board characteristics. Blue Falcon and his team, Dee Dee and DynoMutt are more developed.

The vocal performances were serviceable. Frank Welker never disappoints as Scoob, but the celebrity stunt casting isn't necessary for this franchise. Will Forte tried, but Matthew Lillard is missed as Shaggy.

Honestly, this doesn't feel like it would play well as a theatrical experience. Beyond the cool 3D animation, it felt no different from the various 2D direct to DVD stories that have been released throughout the years. At least the physical gags in this film are on the grand scale, and they are fun to watch.

Scoob! delivers more or less exactly what audiences have come to expect from the franchise. Whether or not that is a good thing may vary between audiences.

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