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martinhitchings

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2 reviews in total 
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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Young kids will love it; but not for the fans...., 31 March 2011
4/10

I grew up with the Scooby Doo cartoon and loved it as a kid and when they brought out the first Scooby live action movie; I was dubious. Thing was, I loved it! I also quite enjoyed the second movie although not as much as the first.

When it came to the original cast, I had issues with Freddie Prinze Jr as Fred as I felt he wasn't butch enough and Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, because she was both a little too short and I had not yet got over my Buffy crush; but Matthew Lillard as Shaggy was, quite simply, awesome.

This, unfortunately is where this movie falls down. Though I don't doubt the effort of Nick Palatas as Shaggy and indeed his acting chops (he is a young actor starting out) but following Matthew Lillard's Shaggy was always going to be a tall order. What also doesn't help is having a dark haired Fred in the form of Robbie Amell, I struggled to recognise him as Fred.

However, the Daphne (Kate Melton) character I though was excellent and if I could transplant her for Gellar in the first; I would without a second thought.

Bottom line, not a great movie but I guarantee your young children will enjoy it. For the rest of us, its a sad reflection.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
What the sequel should have been, 23 April 2010
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT OK, I have not read all of the reviews that people have posted but there are a lot that rate this movie just because of JCVD and Dolph Lundgren both being in it and because of their action movie legacy.

I personally rate this movie not for them in particular, but for what I feel the movie represents to me.

First off, yes; when I first heard about the movie, the idea of having JCVD and DL reprising their roles for a sequel to one of my favourite action movies, I was excited but apprehensive. To echo my feelings, when I mentioned it to my best buddy his exact words were "It's a dream come true". What made me apprehensive was the second movie, which featured the likes of Goldberg et al which to be fair, had decent stunts etc but to me missed part of the 'depth' the first movie hinted at. Secondly, sequels to great movies do not always live up to their predecessors and considering that the movie clearly had a lower budget than the previous two (I could be wrong) there was the chance that it would be condemned to B movie hell. However, Regeneration despite some minor issues, hits the nail firmly on the head in my opinion.

I can hear you all asking 'what depth?' and you are right; the first didn't tackle the moral idea of resurrecting dead soldiers or indeed the implementation of mind control on people. However, JVCD's character (a resurrected Vietnam Soldier) began to regain parts of his memory and discover his past as things progressed; whereas the clearly psychotic Lundgren slipped back into a madness fuelled re-enactment of his Vietnam experience. Then along comes the second movie, JCVD is clearly recovered and up to date with life, technology and the world as if nothing had ever happened. Poppycock.

Regeneration on the other hand, introduces Luc Deveraux as a somewhat broken minded man with various issues (not in the least his weakened physical state); seeing threat to his life in a diner and not really having a fair grip of reality or indeed, his own independence; and this is my point: resurrect a man, mind control him, pump him full of drugs and then let him detox, you really think he will recover like nothing had happened?? So to me that sets the stage perfectly in terms of how his character would truly appear in the future hinted at by the first (hence my use of the word depth) and in my opinion, JCVD acted the part very believably. Naturally, I had little doubt regarding DL's ability to pull off his role, I just wasn't sure (until I saw the movie) how that would play out. The fact is, DL is a great actor who (in my opinion) has been in some mediocre films and not yet had the parts that truly reflect his acting ability, apart from other small parts such as the preacher in Johnny Neumonic, where he his character shines; and Regeneration was another example of this.

Now the movie storyline itself is nothing particularly groundbreaking in terms of storyline, bad guys vs good guys etc etc but the way in which it was filmed ie camera work, the dark and gritty edge that works so well these days and the in your face brutality of the action (rather than the big explosions and glitz of the late 80's early 90's action movies) gave it an edge that sat nicely with the whole broken minded Luc Deveraux. There were also elements early on that reminded me of the 'bourne' movies in terms of the way they were filmed, which I thought was great too.

The movie also introduces to the big screen, the two UFC stars Mike Pyle and Andre Arlovski. Arlovski, the unstoppable killing machine and Pyle; the heroic army dude. Both played very convincing roles in the movie and Pyle stood out more to me because of his ability to act well (which I was not expecting). Arlovski's lack of dialogue (which, given the character, would have perhaps detracted from the role) is the only reason why I rate Pyle slightly higher, its one thing to do action and MMA to choreographed shots but another to act convincingly.

For me, the only things that let the movie down was that DL's part was not as big as I would have liked; granted: he played it brilliantly, I just wish there had been more of it. Secondly, some of the back story covering Unisol 1 to present day was a little lacking and perhaps overly contrived. I would argue that this movie in some respects hinted at tackling the moral issue of resurrecting dead soldiers without actually doing it, which to me, would have added more depth. Finally, some of the acting was wooden at best (excluding the stars and the UFC guys) and perhaps this was a script issue rather than an acting issue? Anyway, those are the reasons why it drops two points, other than that I loved it, have seen it twice and will watch it many more times to come. If you loved the original, you will love this.

PS the end sets up for another sequel or even a franchise reboot; lets hope they build on the success they have had here and take it to the next level.