Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed feels like the movie they should’ve led with. Although Raja Gosnell is still the director and James Gunn is surprisingly still the writer, Monsters Unleashed feels more like a love letter to Scooby-Doo. Albeit one that retains the immature humor of the first movie. There are still innuendos, but it’s more clear that this was always meant to be a kids movie. Although I was 8 and enjoyed the live-action Scooby-Doo, I still didn’t see the sequel in theaters. Monsters Unleashed isn’t a guilty pleasure like the first movie, but it has its moments. Scooby-Doo 2 brings back the entire cast with slightly updated hair and/or outfits. Mystery, Inc. arrives in a Mystery Machine limo to a Coolsville museum dedicated to their many cartoon accurate ghosts.
It is fun to see them acknowledge the Pterodactyl Ghost, Black Knight Ghost, Tar Monster, and Skeleton Men. At first they’re just costumes, but scientific mumbo jumbo turns them into real monsters with the usual terrible CGI. The mystery this time is who the masked figure behind everything is. Each Mystery, Inc. member is once again given equal importance. At this point Matthew Lillard fully transforms into Shaggy. He and Scooby-Doo try to prove they aren’t screw ups by doing serious detective work. With the usual fart jokes and childish antics along the way. The most memorable scene is Shaggy & Scooby taking potions that turn them into various things. Since Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar were married at this point, some attention is given to Fred & Daphne’s relationship.
Really it’s Linda Cardellini who’s given the most attention with Velma receiving a love interest. “Jinkies!” she’s even put in a sexy skintight outfit just to impress Seth Green as the museum curator. He’s one of several suspects including Peter Boyle and Tim Blake Nelson as former masked ghosts. Although the real culprit is more obviously Alicia Silverstone as a reporter trying to discredit Mystery, Inc. Other memorable moments involve the gang together. Like when they explore a spooky mansion or remember being teenagers. In the end it’s Scooby-Doo who gets his big hero moment. The villain is unmasked and an obligatory dance number plays. Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed has enough respect for the show to distract from the usual forgivable problems.
Preceded by: Scooby-Doo