Mystery Incorporated are back on the case in the latest cinematic outing for the Scooby Gang. There’s rarely been a time that Scooby hasn’t been on the small screen in some fashion since his creation in the original Hanna-Barbera cartoons back in 1969. The last time we saw Scoob, Shaggy Fred, Daphne and Velma in a big budget cinematic adventure was in live-action form some 16 years ago now (oh God, really!?), in Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Those James Gunn penned movies have gone on to have a loyal following amongst the generation that grew up with them, so it would seem Warner Brothers felt it was time to dust off the intellectual property once more for a new generation.
This time around, it is all about building a cinematic universe. With Mystery Inc growing more and more successful, Shaggy (voiced by Will Forte) and Scooby (Frank Weller) are forced to think about just what their place is in the group. They won’t have long to think, because they soon find themselves thrust on a mission to protect the world when Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Sykes (Kiersey Clemons) come calling. Soon, Scooby and the gang find that they are part of a much bigger universe than any of them could have imagined.
It is not hard to see how this latest Scooby-Doo adventure has been constructed, and just what the blueprint is the studio is pulling from. With characters appearing from other Hanna-Barbera cartoons and more outlandish science fiction action, it is very clear that Scooby is getting the Marvel treatment. As a result, anything that this film has that is close to resembling a heart is pretty quickly discarded in favour of an over-crowded attempt to franchise the thing. What’s left is a largely un-inspired product that feels too cynically designed to enjoy all that much.
Full review over at Filmhounds Magazine, originally published September 24th 2020.