After entertaining generations of children and adults alike, everyone’s favorite mystery-solving Great Dane has returned in “Scoob!,” the latest film to skip theaters and head to your living room.
We are first introduced to Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) when he is just a young pup. After stealing an abnormally large roll of corned beef from a local grocery store (go figure), he meets a new friend named Shaggy Rogers (Will Forte). Shaggy is a nice kid, but too eccentric for most of his peers. Upon meeting the stray Great Dane, Shaggy decides to name him Scooby-Doo, and the boy and dog are joined at the hip.
During Halloween, Shaggy and Scooby are having the time of their lives trick-or-treating — that is until some neighbor kids pick on them and throw their candy in a local house “haunted by a ghost.” Fortunately, some good Samaritans check on Shaggy and Scooby to make sure they’re OK: Fred Jones (Zac Efron), Daphne Blake (Amanda Seyfried) and Velma Dinkley (Gina Rodriguez).
Fred, being the fearless leader, directs the group into the haunted house to get Shaggy’s candy back. As they do so, despite Shaggy and Scooby hiding in the closet, they solve what is ultimately their first of many mysterious crimes. From this day forward, the group is known as “Mysterious Inc.”
Flash forward 10 years later and the five pals are closer than ever, solving hundreds of cases. They want to take Mysterious Inc. to the next level, though. Simon Cowell, portrayed by Simon Cowell (yes, seriously), is interested in investing in the group, but is hesitant to put his money forward based on the two goofballs of Mysterious Inc. You can probably guess who.
Shaggy and Scooby storm off, feeling betrayed by the disloyalty of their friends, but there’s a bigger problem on the horizon. Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs) is a wacky villain who, believe it or not, needs Scooby-Doo’s famed heritage to unlock a timed dimension to rich and lavish treasure.
While Mysterious Inc. is vulnerable and separated, the Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) comes to the aid of Shaggy and Scooby. Falcon is an all-brawn-and-no-brain superhero who lives off the name of his famous crime-fighting father.
Can Mysterious Inc. come together again before Dastardly gets his hands on Scooby with evil intentions? Will Blue Falcon become an ally, or will he just get in the way?
At its core, “Scoob!” is a harmless, playful film that can entertain all age groups for 90-odd minutes. While the dialogue is surprisingly clever more often than not, it’s the plot that will make your brain hurt if you think too much about it. Just smile and laugh along.
It’s no surprise that Shaggy and Scooby are the stars of this show, and while that brings out plenty of chuckles, we don’t get to see too much of the other half of Mysterious Inc. in Fred, Daphne and Velma.
As for the villain in Dastardly, you never really can take him too seriously, and perhaps that’s how it was intended. It’s a bit of a shame that the film chose such a random Hanna-Barbera character, though, as the history of “Scooby-Doo” actually has a pretty enticing list of villains.
“Scoob!” certainly has its flaws, but if you’re looking for some light and breezy entertainment -- mixed with some nostalgia, there’s just one question to ask: Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you?