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movie review out of 4

*Also starring: Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Rowan Atkinson

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Awwwww, I know it's a kiddy film but that's no excuse for such stupidity. Adapted from the Hanna-Barbera, Saturday-morning-TV cartoon show, the story revolves around Scooby-Doo (voiced by Neil Fanning), a dauntless Great Dane, and his formerly-friendly, crime-solving teen cohorts at Mystery Inc.. It seems that, after a silly spat, the gang's split - until, secretly and separately, Emile Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson) summons each of the quintet - hungry Scooby, scruffy Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), fatuous Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), damsel-in-distress Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and brainiac Velma (Linda Cardellini) - to his popular theme park called Spooky Island to investigate a scary series of paranormal incidents. Basically, he makes them an offer they can't refuse to find out why his collegiate clientele winds up as zombies. So how bad is it? Let me count the Scooby-snacks. The dorky, dumbed-down screenplay by James Gunn ("Tromeo and Juliet") is wretched, culminating in a farting contest between Scooby and Shaggy. For director Raja Gosnell ("Big Momma's House"), the word 'subtle' doesn't exist, particularly regarding cleavage. And why does Pamela Anderson to pop up in an unbilled cameo as a toy-company owner? The drug-friendly, up-in-smoke demeanor of the stoned Shagster dude has gone stale, particularly with hippie allusions like Mary-Jane - "That's my favorite name!" On the other hand, credit must be given to the sophisticated technology which permits live actors to interact with a computer-animated pooch - and to the fact that Scrappy-Doo bites the dust. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Scooby-Doo" is an inept, irritating, inane 3. Despite the fact they're already planning a sequel caper, my advice: Scooby-don't.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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