Scoob! (2020)

Movie Title: Scoob!

Year Released: 2020

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1h 33min

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Mystery

Director: Tony Cervone

Writer: Matt Lieberman, Adam Sztykiel, Jack Donaldson, and Derek Elliott

Starring: Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan, Frank Welker, Iain Armitage, Mckenna Grace, Pierce Gagnon, Ariana Greenblatt, Simon Cowell, Christina Hendricks, Henry Winkler, John DiMaggio, Kevin Heffernan, Billy West

Review: Scooby-Doo and the gang face their most challenging mystery ever! (Not really) It's a race to stop a menacing madman from unleashing a monster on the world. Can Scooby save the world? Will this movie doom the Scooby-Doo franchise for all eternity? Are big studios finally going to stop making tent-pole movies by comity and actually write beloved characters a screenplay that understands them and why they have been a staple in animation since the 1960s? Hey, look... it's Scoob!

If 2020 couldn't get any worse... now kids and parents have to sit through the cinematic disaster known as Scoob! This movie is an aggressive disappointment on so many levels. For example...

The story begins with the "meet cute" of Shaggy (voiced by Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (voiced by the legendary Frank Welker). They make a big point of the importance of friendship. And as fans of these characters know, Shaggy and Scooby are the best of friends and would let nothing come between them - which the folks that put this movie together either didn't know or didn't care because after about 20 minutes into the movie, these two best friends are at odds with one another, only to interact in awkward scenes of passive aggressive exchanges, and they don't both to talk with each other like best friends would actually do. They only act this way because of a terrible script that thinks families and fans of these guys want to see them hate each other for more than 60 minutes of the 90 minute runtime. Oh, but they become friends again in the last five minutes so no worries. Doesn't that sound like fun, gang?! What a waste!

And if that wasn't bad enough, the other half of Mystery Inc. (Fred, Daphne, and Velma) are not with Scooby and Shaggy until the last act of the movie. Who doesn't want to watch a movie about five friends that travel around and solve spooky mysteries that don't actually travel around together and solve mysteries? Did the geniuses that wrote this ever see a Scooby-Doo cartoon? My kids love Scooby-Doo! The could have written a better movie! Oh, and Velma is Hispanic for some reason and has literally one line of dialogue to emphasize the point, but why? It has no significance to the plot or her character. Besides studio box checking, why would you do it? Oh, and you have superheroes, too! The Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and Dynomutt (Ken Jeong), both part of the Scooby-Doo universe, give kids their superhero fix because, after all, kids love superheroes, right? But then you have other Hanna-Barbera characters like Captain Caveman, Dick Dastardly, and Muttley, who have no connection to Scooby-Doo, but hey... Who Cares! Is Warner Bros. trying to start a new cinematic universe - the SDCU (Scooby-Doo Cinematic Universe) or the HBCU (Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe)? They did such a bang-up job with DC, so why not!?

The biggest mystery in this pile of garbage is trying to figure out why Simon Cowell has such a prominently extended cameo. Do kids know who he is? I think it's due to a decade old screenplay that's been reworked to death. But where many Scooby-Doo movies feature a celebrity guest star, this high profile, big budget version didn't get someone more current or important to the plot. Or it might just be laziness, contractual obligation, or they tried and true studio method of.. who knows... or cares?

However, with all that said, I do think that the first 10-15 minutes are actually cute, fun, and have the spirit of what makes Scooby-Doo so entertaining and gave it the longevity it has endured over the last 50 years. After that, turn this dog-turd of a movie off!

I wish I could give Scoob! zero stars! It was terrible, boring, wasted a wonderfully entertaining IP, and, most of all, it violated one of my movie-going rules: a problem between characters can be solved with a quick two minute conversation, but the movie needs to happen so they don't and we have to sit uncomfortably as things happen to fill the runtime so we can make it to feature length and then it can happen once the plot, which this movie really doesn't have one that makes any sense, gets resolved.

Avoid this movie as if it were a dog with rabies. I'd rather have fleas than sit through it again! Cujo is more fun to watch. All I can say is Scoob! is a dog!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The montage of Scooby-Doo and their adventures is almost a shot-by-shot replica of the opening credits of Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969).


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