Scooby-Doo (2002)
Main cast: Freddie Prinze, Jr (Fred Jones), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Daphne Blake), Matthew Lillard (Norville 'Shaggy' Rogers), Linda Cardellini (Velma Dinkley), Scott Innes (Scooby Doo), and Rowan Atkinson (Mondavarious)
Director: Raja Gosnell


Some movies are just plain stupid. Others, like Scooby-Doo, plumb the lowest depths of gross and stupid gags, yet they still manage to come off like high art. Okay, I'm a big fan of the silly cartoon, and this movie plays like a barely one-hour-and-thirty-minutes overlong cartoon. Some people will hate it. I love it.

In fact, if it's not for Freddie Puerile Jr and his hideous bleached date rapist look and that irritating Scooby-Doo, I would give this farce my two thumbs up. The CGI makes that dog look like some bloated obscene brown thing, eeeuw. And don't get me started on Lanky Ponce Jr's lack of build or jock thing that makes him a lousy Fred. Why Fraggle Pinched Jr? Why not, say, Marc Blucas who made a better Fred in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back!?

Should I even bother with the story? Oh, okay. Meet Mystery, Inc. There's Fred, who hogs all the charisma (Fruitty Wetpatch Jr, definitely miscast). Meet Daphne, who is the bimbo in magenta and the constant damsel-in-distress (Sarah Michelle Gellar, surprisingly very funny). Say hello to Velma, the brainy one (Linda Cardellini is way too beautiful and busty for this role, and do check out how she looks at Freckley Ponza Jr as if she wants to jump his bones real bad). And finally, Shaggy and his doggie buddy. Matthew Lillard makes an uncannily life-like Shaggy, and I finally bow to the brilliance of the Lillard. This is one guy who, with his manic sociopath serial killer face and hammy voice, can act the most puerile of roles and still make them something to watch out for.

Anyway, in the first half-hour, they solve the mystery of a ghost haunting Pamela Anderson's toy store (it's her ex of, uh, "George Clooney-ian proportions") only to dissolve soon after. Velma's tired of being the uncredited brain, Daphne's sick of being the damsel-in-distress, and Fred's tired of feeling that everyone's sick of him. Freddo Piggo Jr, get lost, and take your bleached dead skunk on your head with you. Shaggy and Scooby, well, they end up frying eggplants in the back of the van. (What do you expect? Drugs and doggie gay sex? Think of the kids in the audience, please.)

But they reunite when Mondivarius, the reclusive owner of the giant fun fair isle named Spooky Island, invites each one personally to come over and solve a Case. So the gang reluctantly band together again and along the way, they learn about trust, friendship, flatulence, and oh, Velma shows lots of cleavage to match Daphne's boobiage factor.

Parody is the only way bad movies like Scooby-Doo can survive, and this is what it is: full-blown parody, with lots of bad body function jokes mixed in liberally. And oh, I laughed so hard when Scooby does a gas bomb while in full body armor. I howled when Shaggy and Scooby stage a flatulence and diarrhea mime contest. I screamed when Shaggy, trapped in Daphne's body, moans, "Daphne, don't you ever eat?" Put this in perspective with Gellar's recent bulimia confession (she claims to have overcome it, but it was full-blown a while back - thus explaining Buffy's skeletal appearence in Seasons Four and Five) and it's really lowbrow infantile comedy all the way.

But I have to ask: who made Velma Daria-lite? Daphne's Buffy-lite, only with much more comedy. Fred... well, that horrifying bleach job will scar my mind forever. Shaggy - love ya lots. Scooby is obscene to my eyes but he's alright. Meanwhile, Rowan Atkinson, well, he's Mr Bean again. Nothing unexpected here, although from a man who was in gems like Black Adder, it is a sad downward spiral, isn't it?

Scooby-Doo is bad, make no mistake, and it's nothing more than an excuse for garish props, colorful clothes, and flatulence jokes. But it is bad in a very fun way. Indeed, let me raise a glass of disgusting slime jello to this baby - when a movie makes bad taste something good to savor, it is definitely something slammin' in my book.

Rating: 81


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