Folks, it’s been a rough January. We really just needed something light-heartedly bad to lift our spirits. That’s why we decided to watch one of the members of our editorial board’s favorite movies, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Fear not though, dear reader, because whilst Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed may be the apex of 2000’s era cinema, it is also an award-winningly bad movie, winning the 2004 Razzie award for worst remake or sequel. The film follows the Mystery Inc. gang at a gala for a museum exhibit for the gang’s most infamous costumed villains. The event goes swimmingly, with us being introduced to Velma’s crush Patrick the museum curator. Suddenly, the Pterodactyl Ghost crashes the party causing mayhem, embarrassing the gang, and making off with a handful of costumes. We find out later from Velma that a single scale from the Pterodactyl Ghost was actually a real live dinosaur scale. It is then that Velma’s crush, Patrick, comes by to ask her on a date. Although Velma is nervous, she allows Daphne to give her a makeover and we see Velma come down the stairs in an uncharacteristically skin-tight latex jumpsuit. She and Patrick are very uncomfortable on the date – this is not the Velma we all know and love. Despite the ensuing awkwardness of their outing, we discover that more of the monsters came back to the exhibit and stole the rest of the costumes. We are beginning to assume that the monsters we’ve encountered thus far are real. Meanwhile, Scooby and Shaggy are reeling from the serious fumbling they experienced at the gala, and become determined in their quest to become effective mystery solvers. The goofy duo begins by investigating a dive bar populated by the regular criminals beneath the masks. After an intense disco dance led by Scooby results in the duo being discovered, they retreat. We learn that the potential culprit is the original Pterodactyl Ghost, Dr. Jacobo, however he was presumed dead after trying to escape from a maximum security prison — potentially on an island? — using his own homemade wings. The story of Icarus be damned, Dr. Jacobo falls to his death, and his body is never found. However, one of his last projects before being caught was to create real monsters…similar to our current Pterodactyl Ghost perhaps?
The gang is also being threatened by reporter Heather Jasper Howe, who seems to have a vendetta against the gang and determined to tarnish their good names. Just when it seems that Daphne has figured out that Heather is the Masked Man, he appears out of nowhere and threatens to turn his monsters loose on the city if the gang is not turned in. He sets his monsters loose anyways, and the gang must run away to their old high school clubhouse, where they devise a plan to get rid of the monsters once and for all, using a device that was found in the Masked Man’s lair. The aforementioned monsters appear and attack our newly inspired protagonists. Each member of the gang must face off against a monster, eventually defeating them in combat. Velma also has a sneaking suspicion that Patrick, her museum curator love interest, may be the Masked Man. However, those fears are soon quelled as he saves her life, in what might be the most ridiculous and unnecessary red herring plot ever. The gang is then met with the Tar Monster, who dramatically captures the gang, leaving it up to Scooby-Doo himself to save the day.
The monsters defeated and the Masked Man captured, it is time for the unmasking. In the end the culprit was Heather Jasper Howe, with the help of her assistant, Ned. But that is not all, Heather Jasper Howe was actually Dr. Jacobo this whole time, who had survived his escape attempt and sought out to ruin Mystery Incorporated. The day is saved, Scooby and Shaggy are still best friends, Fred and Daphne are still in love, and Velma is still participating in compulsory heterosexuality.
Is this a kids movie? Yes. Is it still the apex of cinema regardless of what Roger Ebert had to say? Yes. Is the editor who said this is his favorite movie writing this feature? Of course. It is a wonderful experience, and a must watch for any Scooby Doo fan. It’s just pure, dumb, fun. The entire cast fully embodies the roles and brings them to life in ways that subsequent live-action movies just haven’t been able to do.