Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (also referred to as Scooby-Doo 2) is a 2004 American live-action/computer-animated horror comedy film based on the animated television franchise Scooby-Doo. It is the second installment in the Scooby-Doo live-action film series and a sequel to 2002's Scooby-Doo, and was directed by Raja Gosnell, written by James Gunn, and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, Tim Blake Nelson, Peter Boyle and Alicia Silverstone, with Neil Fanning reprising his role as the voice of Scooby-Doo.
The film premiered at Hollywood on March 20, 2004 and was released on March 26, 2004.
- Excessive amount of fart and burp jokes, though there are nowhere nearly as many as there were in the first film.
- The plot is confusing and badly executed - and the story is not even an original concept for the Scooby-Doo! franchise, as the 2002 game Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights had already done this concept.
- Bad CGI effects.
- The designs of the monsters look awful, even by 2004 standards.
- Alicia Silverstone's performance as Heather Jasper-Howe is incredibly bad.
- It's far too easy to figure out who the villain is, mostly because of the casting of Alicia Silverstone. Her poor acting to try and look innocent, and the film trying way too hard to make it look like her character isn't the villain by making the characters portrayed by Seth Green and Peter Boyle look way too suspicious, don't help at all.
- Laughable and forgettable dialogue.
- The villains don't come off as scary and instead seem lame and pointless.
- The non-toilet humor isn't amusing, either.
- Shaggy and Scooby are even DUMBER in this film.
- In one scene, the two are seen drinking unknown science formulas, the formulas resulted in:
- Scooby turning into an alien.
- Shaggy getting the body of a woman.
- Scooby turning into the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes.
- Shaggy growing muscles with a dumb personality to go along.
- Scooby turning into a smart scientist and speaking normally.
- The title is laughable and doesn't make any sense.
- The Luna Ghost (a fan favorite from the first movie) isn't seen in this one, making him a bit of a wasted opportunity.
- The people at the Faux Ghost don't seem to know that their costumes were being transformed into monsters.
- The reveal that Heather Jasper-Howe happens to be Dr. Jacobo has little foreshadowing. It would have been better if Heather was the secret daughter of Jacobo rather than his persona.
- It has a better grasp of the source material compared to its predecessor; the monsters in the movie are actually from the cartoons and the events of the first film are completely ignored (with the exception of a fleeting reference to Mary Jane), which makes it look like those events didn't even happen. It helps that James Gunn (the films' writer) is a fan of Scooby-Doo.
- The gang also goes to a traditional haunted house like in the cartoons.
- After the credits, Scooby is seen playing the tie-in Game Boy Advance game. After he succeeds, he tells the viewers to enter the secret code (this is only seen on the VHS and DVD release).
- Most of the acting is great, and Matthew Lillard's portrayal of Shaggy Rogers is still great.
- The acting of Velma, Daphne and Fred has improved noticeably.
- The main characters are better portrayed than in the previous film.
- A remarkable aspect is how the characters develop when doubting the roles that in the original cartoon they followed to the letter:
- Fred wants to show that he can be a true team leader and not just the handsome guy.
- Daphne begins to distrust herself for thinking that she's just "a pretty face".
- Velma feels insecure about her image and feels that she deserves that her personality be something more than "the smart girl".
- Shaggy and Scooby are fed up with being seen as buffoons or the team's fools and are desperately trying to prove their bravery to others by trying to solve the mystery themselves.
- Daphne's outfit is more accurate (although she still wears pink go-go boots in some scenes).
- The scene where Shaggy and Scooby lament and reflect on how they do nothing but mess things up for the team despite their efforts and wish for being able to do things right is pretty sad and even relatable for some people.
- Some of the jokes are pretty funny, such as the Cotton Candy Glob part.
- Even though the monster designs are bad, they're somewhat better than those in the first film.
- The new cast members (with the very notable exception of Alicia Silverstone) are fitting additions to the cast, including Seth Green, Tim Blake Nelson and Peter Boyle.
- Decent soundtrack by David Newman.
- Some of the dialogue is quite memorable including "I think Coolsville sucks".
- Scooby-Doo looks nice in his Jimmy Hendrix like costume.
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed received negative reviews by critics, fans and audiences alike. It currently holds a score of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 4.3 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Only the very young will get the most out of this silly trifle". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, an improvement over the previous film's "B+".
The film opened up at #1 on its opening weekend grossing $29,438,331 domestically. It later made a total domestic gross of $84,216,833. In overseas territories, the film made $97,250,000. Overall, the film made a total of $181,466,833 against its $25 million budget.
Awards and nominations
The film won the Golden Raspberry Award for "Worst Remake or Sequel", and was nominated for two Stinkers Bad Movie Awards including "Worst Sequel" and "Least "Special" Special Effects", but won none.
Fate of the live-action film series
While its reception was generally negative as with its predecessor, it grossed considerably less than its predecessor. Let alone its critical reception, its financial failure resulted in a third film (set to be both written and directed by James Gunn and set for a 2007 release) being cancelled.
- Seth Green, who appears in this movie, later created Robot Chicken. Two episodes have skits involving Scooby-Doo crossing over with Friday the 13th and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini and Matthew Lillard reprised their roles from the movie in both skits.
- There was originally going to be a third live action Scooby-Doo movie, but in an August 2004 interview, actor Matthew Lillard stated that those plans where cancelled after Warner Brothers was unhappy that the film had a box office return of $84 million in the U.S. The third movie would have been written and directed by James Gunn and it would have taken place in Scotland.
- It created the "I think Coolsville sucks!" meme.