out of 4
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Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4
Admittedly, I was stunned at the success of the original "Scooby-Doo,"
the live-action feature based on TV cartoon characters created by Hanna
Barbera. But I'm now convinced there's an eager audience for this nostalgic
franchise, and the groovy sequel doubles the fun with credit going to the
screenwriter James Gunn, director Raja Gosnell and composer David Newman.
The story begins as the intrepid Mystery Inc. gang is being honored at
the Coolsonian Criminology Museum, where costumes of the creepy critters
they've caught over the years are on exhibit. Then, suddenly, as they're
walking the red carpet, the Pterodactyl Ghost comes back to life, along with
the Black Knight Ghost, the Skelemen, Tar Monster, Captain Cutler's Ghost,
Cotton Candy Glob and Miner 49er. It seems that someone has invented a
dastardly monster-making machine, and the local heroes are blamed for the
mayhem by an aggressive investigative reporter (Alicia Silverstone) who tries
to rally the citizens of Coolsville against Mystery Inc..
As Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) assemble
clues to unmask the villain - perhaps jailbird Jeremiah "Old Man" Wickles
(Peter Boyle) - intelligent-but-insecure Velma (Linda Cardellini) becomes
infatuated with a key suspect, Museum curator Patrick Wisely (Seth Green), who
seems to be working both sides of the psycho street. Meanwhile, Norville
"Shaggy" Rogers (Matthew Lillard) and his CG canine pal Scooby-Doo are forced
to confront their fears and feelings of inadequacy. And for kids, there are
life lessons to be learned about self-esteem, acceptance and teamwork within
these subplots. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters
Unleashed" is a screwball 6. It's family-friendly fun.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger
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