When Mystery, Inc. are guests of honor at the grand opening of the Coolsville Museum of Criminology, a masked villain shows up and creates havoc before stealing the costumes of the gang's most notorious villains: Black Knight Ghost, Pterodactyl Ghost and Tar Monster. Could it be that their nemesis, mad scientist Jonathan Jacobo has returned and is trying to recreate their deadliest enemies? Velma has a crush on the museum curator Patrick Wisely despite her fears of intimacy but why is he acting so suspicious? The Mystery Gang is hard pressed to succeed this time, since annoying television reporter Heather Jasper-Howe insists they are buffoons. Written by
The original live action SCOOBY DOO was rather like the cotton candy you buy at the fair: pretty to look at and fun to scarf down. But a little goes a long way, particularly when all the air has been beaten out and it emerges as overworked taffy.
Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, and Linda Cardellini repeat the roles of Fred, Daphne, Shaggy, and Velma. Once again, Prinze and Gellar are hardly inspired but at least they play with tremendous energy; once again Lillard and Cardellini are so dead on target that the effect is almost spooky. They are supported by Seth Green, a truly talented actor who gives a very nice performance indeed; unfortunately, Peter Boyle is largely wasted and Alicia Silverstone is, well, Alicia Silverstone.
Silverstone aside, the cast might have recreated the lightness of the first film--but once you mix in a story about stolen costumes that come to life, huge sets, wild outfits, a dance number, and a ton of CGI effects they pretty much get lost in the shuffle. It's all about as much fun as a carnival after the crowd has gone and you're left alone with gum on the bottom of your shoe.
Kids probably won't notice the shortcomings, and older fans will be glad to see numerous references to the original cartoon series--and to be fair the film does have its moments, largely thanks to Lillard, Cardellini, and Green. The film is available to the homemarket via DVD... But by and large this is the sort of thing you watch once and then let gather dust on the shelf.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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