While Raja Gosnell’s 2002 live-action characteristic “Scooby-Doo” was an unqualified success, grossing $275 million worldwide, the identical cannot be mentioned for “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed,” a hackneyed follow-up that completed its field workplace run with a simply $181 million. Writer James Gunn’s distinctive model of humor and coronary heart, a boon to the 2002 authentic, was constrained by an extra of characters and plot. Sequels typically go for extra, extra, extra, although right here, it might possible have been finest to slim the main target to what labored finest within the authentic — the solid.
That solid elevates “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” excessive sufficient to warrant a watch. Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, and Matthew Lillard, taking part in Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy, respectively, are on the high of their sport. Truthfully, they’re among the many most impressed bits of casting ever, with every gamely leaning into their characters’ distinct traits and foibles. The shift into extra supernatural mayhem would not do “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” any favors, however as a relic of its time, it is simple to understand a big-budget household film that merely tries to have enjoyable, even when that enjoyable is usually incomprehensibly frenetic.