I almost never watch bad movies. I don’t mean that as a brag or anything. I just mean that I monitor ahead of time the kind of movies I’m going to consume, and then I steer away from anything that looks like it’s just going to waste my time. I almost never make an exception to this.
Except . . .
Saturday night, I wanted to watch something with MC, and I was looking for something that might be a tinge Halloween-y, and there was Scoob! waiting in the HBOMax lineup. I liked Scooby Doo. A new version of it in movie form? What could be so bad about that?
I hit “play” without really thinking about it any more than that.
Let this be a lesson to you all. Friends don’t let friends watch bad movies. In fact, “Scoob” should be a verb that sums up this sentiment. If you let someone watch a movie you know is bad, you’re basically scoobing them, and they’re justified in being upset after the fact.
This movie was horrendous on so many different levels, I struggle to know where to begin. You’d think making a Scooby Doo movie would be pretty straightforward. You’ve got the characters, the plot is usually pretty much the same. All that’s missing is the zany hijinks, and maybe some cool musical numbers here and there to make kick it up a notch.
Scoob! decided to forego all of that. Instead, they tried to make this be the launching point of an entire Hanna Barbera Universe. So you’ve got Captain Caveman, Dynomutt, Blue Falcon, Dick Dastardly, and Muttley. On the one hand, that sounds like kind of a cool concept. I mean, I always liked the laff-a-lympics, seeing all those characters interact. But the execution of it is just . . . bad. Captain Caveman’s there and gone in a few minutes. They tried to make all these characters work at the same time, and they used a bizarre plot (Dick Dastardly’s trying to get into a secret vault of treasure guarded by Cerberus, who naturally is one of Scooby’s ancestors?) It all ends up being a big old mash of everything. I like pizza and ice cream and rootbeer and broccoli, but I’m not crazy enough to put them all in a blender and hit purée and then expect the result to taste good.
And they do strange things to the characters themselves. A small thing would be the fact that they made Velma Latinx. By itself, that wouldn’t be a big deal. Except they didn’t really go all the way with it. They tinged her skin color just enough to make you wonder, and then they had her use a single Spanish word at one point in the film. Fish or cut bait, people. The way they did it, it felt like she was channeling Dora the Explorer now and then, and not in a good way.
But much, much worse is what they did to Scooby. They turned him into a completely talking character with a slight speech impediment. Listen, people. Scooby-doo talks in short phrases at best. He’s not the sort of dog that’s going to have a conversation with you. He’s just not that bright, okay? Every time Scooby started pontificating about something, another piece of my childhood died.
But wait! There’s more! Because it wasn’t enough to do all of that, they also decided to throw in brief prequel sequence all about how Shaggy met Scooby and the rest of the gang. And none of that worked, either.
Which sums up the whole movie. None of it worked. None of it was funny. The plot was lame. The voice acting was bad. The animation was creepy. (They have a running Simon Cowell joke, and his transition into 3D animation is the stuff of nightmares.) The songs were non-existent. This movie was terrible on pretty much every level of the terrible spectrum.
The only saving feature I can think of is that MC liked the film. That was the only thing keeping me from stopping the movie. Don’t fall into the same trap I did. Don’t Scoob yourself, people. Stay as far away from this movie as you can. 1/10. Awful.
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