In any case, the anthropomorphized Great Dane and his mystery-busting buddies--Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), Velma (Linda Cardellini), Freddie (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar)--are the popular proprietors of Mystery Inc., Coolsville's hottest detective agency. At the opening of the Coolsville Museum, where many of the costumes of the criminals the gang has unmasked over the years are on display, the gang is pressed into service when a masked intruder interrupts the proceedings and releases a Pterodactyl Ghost to wreak havoc. In short order, Mystery Inc. discovers a plot to use a Monster Machine to animate a host of their old foes--the Black Knight, The 10,000 Volt Ghost, etc. Meanwhile, they must deal with a nasty reporter (Alicia Silverstone) set on doing them in; Velma's budding love affair with the odd museum curator (Seth Green); and Shaggy and Scooby working hard to prove they're real detectives, not just bumbling screw-ups. It's all a terrible bore. The fun of the original series was that there weren't any real ghosts and monsters, just guys in bad costumes, and those pesky kids unmasked them every time. If the foes are truly paranormal, Coolsville has more problems that any aha! reveal could hope to solve. Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Seth Green, Peter Boyle, Tim Blake Nelson and Alicia Silverstone. Directed by Raja Gosnell. Written by James Gunn. Produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle. A Warner Bros. release. Comedy/Adventure. Rated PG for some scary action, rude humor and language. Running time: 94 min
Scooby-doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Though "Scooby-Doo" and "Scooby-Doo 2's" MPAA ratings are the same, "Doo 2" is a film for little kids. Seven- to 12-year-olds attending an advance press screening were thoroughly enthralled, but the first movie was more fun for the parents who grew up watching the Saturday morning cartoon on which both films are based. The difference boils down to a diminished level of sexual innuendo, antagonism and sass, favoring instead a hyped up level of cartoon style violence and more CGI effects depicting real ghosts and monsters.