Evil Masked Figure: Soon, your friends will be dead and Coolsville destroyed. My revenge will be final and there’s nothing you can do about it!
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
With the first Scooby-Doo live action movie proving to be a big enough financial success it only made sense to make a sequel two years later. Much like the first movie it didn’t get the best critical acclaim but has amassed something of a following.
The story is that Mystery Inc. has opened an exhibit in the Coolsville Museum with all the costumes worn by criminals they have unmasked in the past. However, a masked man known as the Evil Masked Figure steals the costumes and turns them into real monsters. This results in reporter Heather Jasper Howe (Alicia Silverstone) mounting a smear campaign against the gang.
The story has a great setup for a mystery and its idea makes sense for a Scooby-Doo movie. It even has a couple of clever homages such as the costumes at the beginning, most of them being designed like and from the original show and Jeremiah Wickles’ (Peter Doyle) mansion is a homage to the castle in the opening credits. However the execution is once again where it suffers. Right off the bat it is quite obvious who the culprit is and the movie goes out of its way to try and convince the audience otherwise. There are a couple twists involving the cameraman Ned (Zahf Paroo) and the original Pterodactyl Ghost Jonathan Jacobo (Tim Blake Nelson) but they come out of seemingly nowhere and makes them wasted potential.
Much like the predecessor, the CGI while good for the time, really does not hold up. Stuff like Scooby, the scene where him and Shaggy experiment with the chemicals, and the monsters themselves are quite distracting in that regard.
The writing has some legitimately funny moments such as Velma being attracted to the museum’s curator Patrick Wisely (Seth Green), Shaggy and Scooby being experiencing the chemicals, the two trying to be real detectives after being blamed for screwing up the operations, etc. And to the movie’s credit the actors both old and new give good performances that lead them to delivering the humor in an effective manner. The problem with these jokes is once again the direction. The humor on its own can work well but with the rest of the movie, a lot of it feels out of focus.
Scooby-Doo 2, like its predecessor has a bit of clever writing but its direction once again leaves a lot to be desired and the mystery, while a good setup on paper, doesn’t work in practice with the problem-solving and deductive reasoning that the movie is trying to pull off in the same vein of the show. It does bring some of the good ideas that the predecessor had but didn’t know what to expand upon for this movie. It hits some parts of what the heart of the shows were like but misses on a lot more.