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movie review out of 4

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

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review no stars
3.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
4.  Susan Granger read the review movie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Scooby-Doo in his big budget film debut is a real charmer, especially when the lovable pooch puts on a flowery dress and a big sun hat to impersonate a grandmother. The same compliments, however, cannot be given to the movie itself, which stars Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar and Linda Cardellini as the human members of Scooby-Doo's detective team. The film is directed by Raja Gosnell, whose last picture was the crude BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE.

I've got a mystery for Scooby and company. Who is the target audience for this picture? Although one might reasonably assume that the studio would want a movie for the television series' 4- to 8-year-old audience, the movie seems aimed at a much older group. With farting contests, very scary monsters and lots of cleavage and short skirts, the movie appears to have young teenage boys more in mind than the kindergarten set. The script, however, is way too childish to attract teenagers. This leaves me wondering about the intended demographics. It's a mystery that I can't solve.

The actors cannot be faulted for their performances. As Norville 'Shaggy' Rogers, Lillard throws himself into his silly part without visible embarrassment. A blonde, yes blonde, Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Fred Jones, a guy whose chief talent is accessorization. Linda Cardellini plays the brainiac Velma Dinkley, who resents Fred's always ignoring her in favor of Daphne Blake (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a glamorous ditz.

When Velma accuses Fred of being interested only in swimsuit models, he tells her, "I'm a man of substance. Dorky chicks like you turn me on too." That's what I mean about the movie being intended more for teenagers.

Shaggy perfectly summarizes my feelings about watching the movie when he remarks, "This is like the opposite of what I wanted to do today." If you're looking for a cute Scooby-Doo show, stick to television.

SCOOBY-DOO runs 1:27. It is rated PG for "some rude humor, language and some scary action" and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it just * 1/2. Although he thought the special effects were good, he didn't like the characters or the plot. He remarked that the farting scenes were "useless."

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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