Monday, January 11, 2010
SCOOBY-DOO (2002) - FILM
If the material is inherently stupid does it excuse a stupid adaptation?
It's all about context.
The original animated Scooby Doo cartoon was formula. Every episode you would get the same running animation, the same ghost to be revealed to be "Old Man Henderson", and Scooby would receive a Scooby snack. It didn't particularly insult your intelligence nor did it stimulate the mind. It was enjoyable for what it was.
The film version knows that it's dumb. It's a calculated gamble that flat out doesn't work. Instead of simply doing what Scooby Doo did best, it tries pokes holes in the material and place itself above it. Shaggy is a pothead! Velma is always in distress! Fred is stupid! We know these things and pointing them out to the audience makes the filmmakers look like the annoying kid in the class that points out the obvious (I should know. I was that kid.)
You get actors who resemble the characters, dress the film in millions of dollars of computer effects and production design it into the ground. It still doesn't mean you'll get a good film. You'll get a shiny film with lots of colors, but not a good one.
WHO CARES!? It's a kids film...Right?
Scooby and Shaggy participating in a farting contest isn't funny. It's lazy. Scooby and Shaggy eating hot peppers isn't funny. It's lazy. There's so many quality kids film (Anything by Pixar and Miyazaki) that have PROVEN you don't have to talk down to an audience for them to enjoy it. Scooby dresses in drag as "She's a brick house play" isn't funny. It's lazy.
This is coming from someone that has defends DUMB AND DUMBER as an example of stupid comedy done smart.
TAG LINE: I sat through the entire running time blank faced trying to recall joy and laughter.
I know it's a cartoon film, but can we get a little bit of internal logic? The gang is constantly denying the existence of real supernatural elements and when they finally do run into actual, tangible beasts...None of them are really surprised. No big deal? YOU JUST GOT ATTACKED BY REAL FREAKING MONSTERS!?
Move along to the next nostalgic 80's cartoon adaptation. Nothing to see here.
I'm sure the director did a better job with BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA. The screenwriter James Gunn (of fun cult films SLITHER, TROMEO AND JULIET and THE SPECIALS fame) must be swimming in his pool of money Scrooge Mcduck style.
NOTE: At least it doesn't pretend that the SCOOBY gang are characters in a TV show that escape to the real world and get super-powers. I'm looking at you FAT ALBERT: THE MOVIE. Well, they did kill FAT ALBERT in it.
Scooby VS real ghosts AND Vincent Price!