July 31, 2004 -- “Scooby Doo 2: Monster's Unleashed” is a pretty average movie for kids, providing about the same level of entertainment as the first film did. I saw this at the kid's film series show July 29 at the Wyo Theatre and the kids were laughing at some of the jokes in the film. There are a smattering of jokes aimed at adults, but mostly this is very broad humor aimed at kids, with a few garbage and flatulence jokes thrown into the mix as well, just to remind you this is not sophisticated humor.
The same cast is back from the first film in the same roles as Mystery Incorporated's ghostbusters: Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Linda Cardellini as Velma. Of course there is also the animated dog, Scooby-Doo (voice by Neil Fanning). New characters include Patrick, Velma's love interest (Seth Green of “The Italian Job”), Old Man Wickles, (Peter Boyle of “Monster's Ball”), Jacobo (Tim Blake Nelson of “Holes”) and a mean-spirited TV reporter, Heather, Alicia Silverstone of “Blast From the Past”).
The story has the city of Coolsville being plagued by ghosts of monsters that Mystery Incorporated has defeated in the past, like the Black Knight, the Skelemen, the Pterodactyl, Captain Cutler, and Miner 49er. Heather spins the news so that the Mystery Incorporated gang is blamed for all the evil happenings in Coolsville. The gang needs to find out what is behind the ghost attacks before they are run out of town. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are criticized by the others after a blunder, so they try to solve the mystery by themselves to prove their worth to the group. Meanwhile, Velma has trouble dealing with the attentions of Patrick, the curator of the museum where some of the ghost attacks take place.
The thin plot serves as an excuse to string a lot of sight gags, jokes, stunts and special effects together into a mildly entertaining diversion. The acting here is minimal, with Matthew Lillard, Seth Green and Linda Cardellini providing the best performances. The rest of the characters are mere caricatures. Unfortunately, this includes one inhabited by a fine actor, Peter Boyle. There is almost no character development. It is no surprise this film isn't very good, the first one wasn't either. The surprise is that both films made so much money. This doesn't bode well for the next film in the series. After all, there is no incentive to try harder when the audience demands so little. Expect more of the same. This film rates a C.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.