A little ambition can be a dangerous thing. The first “Scooby-Doo” was a bit of a freak accident – certainly not a good film but shot as a teen comedy and then cut down to a kiddie flick, it still managed to keep the odd adult joke intermixed with a decent family film. The sequel goes for a far more ambitious story about a mysterious individual bringing back all their CG ghostly past enemies. Whilst there’s some novelty for fans seeing such classics as Captain Cutler and the Black Knight reinvented for the live-action big screen, this second go around seems quite inferior to its predecessor.
A disorganised mess of a mystery, the film treats its audience with contempt by writing for pre-schoolers or younger basically – think “The Cat in the Hat” but cloyingly inoffensive. Gone is the somewhat oddball charm, replaced by an empty CG loud attempt at a film with odd moments of flat character introspection mixed in with lame gags even toddlers will have a hard time laughing at. The cast do their jobs like last time but even they seem tired with the material, yet Lillard and Cardinelli again steal the show. Newcomers Green, Silverstone and Boyle aren’t given enough scenes to do much of anything sadly.
The production design proves better than the script at least with the costumes, far more elaborate sets and more effects make this look far more expensive than the original and add a high gloss to proceedings. At 88 minutes though the pacing is surprisingly limp with some long quiet moments, mixed in with CG surfing sequences and fart gags the next. Odd sequences such as Velma’s leather cat suit makeover to the musical dance finale feel like another movie. It all adds up to some rather mundane hijinks. This is one dog that should be put down.