Live action Scooby Doo doesn’t get enough credit

PHOTO PROVIDED The Scooby Gang come face to face with the reanimated costume of 10,000 Volt Ghost in “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.”

Since I went with a kids’ movie last week I thought I’d do the same again this week for my Throwback Thursday. Unlike the last one though this will be a positive take.

Now I know reviewing 2004 live action movie “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” probably seems weird since I never reviewed the first one but hear me out. As a kid I watched this movie before I even saw the first one and hadn’t even made the connection that they were out of order.

I can still remember getting this movie on DVD at my 10th birthday party and immediately asking my Mom to pop the disc into the TV. To be honest I probably still have it on a bookshelf at home.

Anyway, enough reminiscing on my part and onto the review.

For a live action take on the classic cartoon I think it holds up pretty well.

The story opens with the Scooby gang, now world famous detectives, attending a gallery opening that will showcase all the monster costumes, and their wearer, that they’ve unmasked over the years.

Everything goes great until one costume — the Pterodactyl Ghost — is miraculously reanimated into a real life monstrous dinosaur. The monster snatches up two costumes among the chaos and takes them away, but not before a mysterious masked figure announces his intent to “unmask” the people of Coolsville.

This theft sets the gang on a much more monstrous adventure than they’re used to as they attempt to find out who is reanimating these costumes into real life bad guys.

I don’t know who exactly did the casting for both this film and its prequel but they hit the nail on the head for sure. It stars Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred; Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne; Linda Cardellini as Velma; Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and a few other well known names like Seth Green, Alicia Silverstone and Neil Fanning as the voice of the famous pup himself Scooby Doo.

I feel like this cast really worked well together and portrayed their characters to a “T” throughout the entire film. And the animation used to make Scooby look like a real dog but still staying true to his design was nice to see.

The storyline itself was pretty cool too. There were some pretty compelling moments between the gang as they butt heads on the best way to handle the situation at hand mixed with some comedic moments between famed duo Shaggy and Scooby.

I have to hand it to whoever handled the graphics too. All the monsters that were “reanimated” like Captain Cutler’s Ghost, The Black Knight Ghost and the Tar Monster looked pretty realistic to me especially given the level of technology they had to work with in the early 2000s.

I was pretty bummed when I was doing a little background on this movie and saw it didn’t receive the praise I think it deserved. Sure it isn’t the classic cartoon we all know and love but I think it and its predecessor do a good job of bringing this beloved gang to life.

If you want to give this movie a try it can be rented on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon Prime for $3.99 and is available on HBO Max with a subscription.

And if you’re a purist that must watch the original movie before the second one (which I totally understand by the way) it can be viewed on all the same platforms.


Laura Jameson is a staff reporter for The Express.


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