Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Scoob! Review: A Nostalgia-Fueled Movie That Tries To Capture The Original Magic

Release date: May 15, 2020
Running time: 93 minutes
Starring: Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs

Scoob! is a modern reboot of the classic Hanna Barbera cartoon.  It looks into the origins of Scooby and Shaggy's friendship, and also of the entire mystery solving crew.  In Scoob! Scooby and the gang face their most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this dogpocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.

Scoob! is definitely playing on nostalgia.  It has some pretty great moments at times, like when it redoes the original introduction of the animated series within the movie.  Part of this was reanimated in the modern, computer generated fashion and part of it used the original animated assets. It was a nice blend of the styles and really set the stage and pulled at the nostalgia heartstrings.  Throughout the film, there are additional nostalgia inspired references that will make Scooby fans smile.  And the film also starts with the mystery machine doing what they do best, solve mysteries.  The story, however, quickly takes a turn when the gang meet a real life superhero and his super dog, who enlists their help to solve the ultimate mystery.

However, this is where the film goes off the rials.  It seems like Hanna Barbera is trying to bolt on its other properties to the Scoob! reboot, in an attempt to build those up into their own movies later.  While I appreciate the attempt, it feels deliberate and out of place.  The characters that are added do not fit into the Scoob! universe at all, and definitely stand out from the rest of the mystery crew.  And the knots that the story has to go through and to incorporate these strange characters also feels off.  The story doesn't feel lik eyour classic Scooby Doo story, it feels like another adventure featuring these characters.  And the humor, which I remember liking greatly as a kid, just seems hit or miss.  Some of the jokes are forced, and some are shoe horned in due to the cameo'd characters making them.  In the end, Scoob! feels like it tries to do too much; rather than stick with a classic Scooby Doo story, it pins the entire hopes of Hanna Barbera on it. 

Scoob! tries to play on the nostalgia for the franchise and if it would have stuck to this, it might have been an entertaining reboot of the Scooby Doo franchise. 

Rent it.
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