REVIEW: ‘Scoob’ doesn’t have full charm of classic series, but still satisfies

The latest big screen adaptation of “Scooby Doo” isn’t flawless, but it was a refreshing cinematic experience after those terrible live action pictures from the 2000s.

The first minutes of “Scoob” serve as an origin story, showing how Shaggy (Will Forte) met his dog and best friend Scooby Doo (Frank Welker). A short time later, they meet three other kids, Fred (Zac Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Velma (Gina Rodriguez). After the group uncovers a plot involving a fake haunted house, they continue hanging out and become Mystery Inc.

The movie then shifts to the present day where the crew is finding more success, but Shaggy and Scooby are feeling left out. When the two get separated from the other three, they get roped into a mission to save the world by the hero Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and his robot dog Dynomutt (Ken Jeong). Eventually, the combined Blue Falcon squad and Mystery crew have to team up to take down the villain Dick Dastardly.

“Scoob” has a story that is somewhat paradoxical. Making the story a pseudo-superhero adventure does add some excitement and separates itself from other “Scooby Doo movies, making it a bit unique.

However, as this aspect progresses, and ultimately dominates the movie, the heart of what “Scooby Doo” actually is gets kind of lost in the shuffle. The sequence early on with the six solving a mystery when they were younger was actually pretty fun and charming, and it’s hard to not want more of those kinds of adventures.

scoobblog
Courtesy Warner Bros.

That’s not to say the film as a whole is a loss, though. While it’s arguable that “Scoob” would have been stronger if it had been a more classic mystery adventure with a modernized version of the crew, what audiences get here is still a fun, well paced journey to watch.

One area that the movie does well in to really make the experience fun is the characters. Something to address first is, while I do think the regular voice cast that works on the “Scooby Doo” shows should have been working in this movie, the celebrity crew they bring in here do fit the roles well.

It’s a good time seeing the Mystery Inc. characters interact with each other. It’s also fun spending time with the Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, the latter being especially hilarious.

The comedy as a whole is where “Scoob” probably works the best. On top of the typical shenanigans one expects in “Scooby Doo,” the film provides a lot of meta, fourth wall-breaking humor that provide legitimate laughs.

Credit also has to go to the animation. The movie looks fantastic, it’s very sleek, the action sequences are well made, and the classic look of the characters is preserved.

There’s a sense “Scoob” could have been a stronger feature, but as it is, it’s a fine family film. The humor is on point, the animation looks nice and the character interactions are entertaining. 3 out of 5.

 

Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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