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              Scooby Doo

This film is proof positive that the use of Class A drugs is as prevalent as ever within the decision making circles in Hollywood.

Mooted in production circles for years (Mike Myers was once penciled in as a prospective Shaggy), Scooby Doo finally makes his big screen debut in what must surely rate as the worst film of the year so far (or any year for that matter). Any film that has a burping and farting competition between a man and a CGI dog as it's best scene is surely in an awful lot of trouble from the get-go.

The plot: The Mystery Machine Gang has been torn apart by internal ego-struggles. Fred is stuck up his own arse and insists on taking credit for everything the gang acheives, Daphne is sick of always having to be the damsel in distress, Velma feels wronged for not getting the recognition she deserves for being so intelligent and solving every crime herself and Shaggy....well Shaggy and Scooby just want to be everybody's friend (and in no way are either of them dope smokers.......).

The film opens brightly enough with the gangs last case together (complete with 'meddling kids' quip from the 'ghost') and then, after an inexplicable cameo from Pamela Anderson, the gang go their separate ways as egos take a hold. If the film ended here, it would have been nothing more than a pleasant diversion. But cinema audiences probably want a feature film that lasts longer than ten minutes, so we are painfully subjected to the gang being thrown back together to investigate monstrous goings-on at Spooky Island, run by a certain Emile Mondavarious (A woefully underused Rowan Atkinson). It appears that visitors to the theme park are somehow being turned into mindless zombies and Mr Mondavarious fears this is bad for business. Maybe they are being shown the daily rushes of this film? Because thirty minutes in, becoming a mindless zombie felt like it would have been a sweet release.

It appears that the film makers didn't know what type of a film to make. Is it a post-'Scream' ironic take on a happy childhood memory, as the constant drug references seem to imply? Or is it an out-and-out slapstick comedy aimed squarely at the kids? The truth is, it's neither and parents will find it dull and confusing and kids will just find it confusing. And that's before we've even mentioned Scooby himself.... Whilst at first glance, you do get a bit of a kick out of seeing the Great Dane in glorious CGI, it doesn't take that long before you realise the the CGI isn't that glorious at all. In fact, it's rather shoddy and the upshot is that, during some scenes, Scooby himself actually looks more terrifying than the evil doers terrorizing Spooky Island. 

That's not to say that there aren't redeeming features, Linda Cardellini plays Velma as a sex-bomb just itching to get out from under the chunk jumpers and sensible shoes and Matthew Lillard is astonishingly good as Shaggy - a true cartoon character come to life. Freddy Prinze Jr and Sarah Michelle Gellar just grate as Fred and Daphne but at least look the part..... but just when you're thinking that it's not all bad and maybe you'll give it a try....remember this warning :

Scrappy Doo is in the movie too.

Nuff said.


Sean G