Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (also known as Scooby-Doo 2 or Scooby-Doo! Monsters Unleashed) is a 2004 comedy horror adventure film directed by Raja Gosnell, written by James Gunn and released by Warner Bros. Based on the Hanna-Barbera animated television series of the same name Scooby-Doo, it is the second installment in the Scooby-Doo live-action film series, and a sequel to 2002's Scooby-Doo. The returning cast features Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Linda Cardellini as Velma, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Neil Fanning as the voice of titular protagonist Scooby-Doo.
Series newcomers include Seth Green, Tim Blake Nelson, Peter Boyle and Alicia Silverstone who appear in supporting roles. The film was released on March 26, 2004.
Mystery Inc. attend the opening of an exhibition at the Coolsonian Criminology Museum commemorating their past solved cases with monster costumes on display. However, the celebrations are interrupted by the Evil Masked Figure who steals two costumes using the reanimated Pterodactyl Ghost. The gang are ridiculed by journalist Heather Jasper Howe who starts a smear campaign against them. Concluding an old enemy is the mastermind, the gang revisit old cases, dismissing the former Pterodactyl Ghost, Jonathan Jacobo, due to his apparent death during a failed prison escape, they guess that Jeremiah Wickles, the former Black Knight Ghost, is the culprit.
Going to Wickles' mansion, the gang find a book that serves as an instruction manual on how to create monsters. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo find a note inviting Wickles to visit the Faux Ghost nightclub. They are attacked by the Black Knight Ghost, but escape when Daphne holds him off. Shaggy and Scooby sneak into the Faux Ghost, speaking to Wickles, but learn he has resolved his ways. The rest of the gang discover the key ingredient to create the monsters is a substance called "randomonium" which can be found at the old silver mining town. They go to the museum, accompanied by the curator and Velma's love interest Patrick Wisely, but discover the rest of the costumes have been stolen. The gang go to the mines, finding Wickles's plans to turn it into an amusement park. As they confront Wickles, he states that he and Jacobo were cell-mates who hated each other and that he has no connection to the museum robberies.
The gang then find the Monster Hive where the costumes are brought to life as real monsters. Shaggy and Scooby play around with the machine's control panel, bringing several costumes to life, and the gang flee the city with the panel as the Evil Masked Figure terrorizes the city. Escaping to their old high school clubhouse, the gang realize they can reverse the control panel's power by altering its wiring. Captain Cutler's Ghost emerges from the bayou, forcing the gang to head back to the mines, encountering the various monsters along the way. Velma encounters Patrick in the mines, finding a shrine dedicated to Jacobo, but Patrick proves his own innocence by rescuing Velma from falling through a catwalk.
The gang confront the Evil Masked Figure but the Tar Monster captures all of them but Scooby, who uses a fire extinguisher to freeze the Tar Monster's body. He reactivates the control panel, transforming the monsters back into costumes. The gang take the Evil Masked Figure to the authorities, unmasking him as Heather. When asked why Heather did what she did, Velma suddenly peels Heather’s face off, revealing her to actually be Jacobo, who faked his own death in order to get revenge on Mystery Inc. Jacobo's cameraman Ned is also arrested as an accomplice. Mystery Inc. are praised as heroes once again in Coolsville. In the Faux Ghost, the gang celebrates their victory with the now reformed criminals whom they unmasked in the past (including Wickles).
After the credits, Scooby is seen playing the tie-in Game Boy Advance game. After he succeeds, he tells the viewers to enter the secret code. (This is only seen on the VHS and DVD release.)
Why It Sucks
- Laughable and lame title.
- Excessive amount of fart and burp jokes, though they are nowhere nearly as many as there were in the first film.
- Bad CGI effects.
- Confusing story.
- Poor acting.
- It's far too easy to figure out who the villain is.
- Better grasp of the source material; the monsters in the movie are actually from the cartoon.
- Matthew Lillard's portrayal of Shaggy Rogers is still great.
- Some of the jokes are pretty funny.
- The events of the first film are completely ignored.
- Though the CGI is bad, it’s somewhat better than those in the first film.
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed currently holds a 22% "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 4.3 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Only the very young will get the most out of this silly trifle". The film was panned by critics, fans and audiences alike. Richard Roeper stated in his review, "It's a terrible movie. The laughs aren't there. The stunts are stupid. There's no plot whatsoever." and Roger Ebert stated, "What I felt as I watched Scooby-Doo was not the intense dislike I had for the first film, but a kind of benign indifference."
The film was released on March 26, 2004 and opened up at #1 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $29,438,331. It would later gross $84,216,833. Overall, the film made $181,466,833.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for two Stinker Awards including Worst Sequel and Least "Special" Special Effects. It was also nominated for a Golden Trailer Award for Best Animation/Family and was nominated for a World Stunt Award for Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman for Melissa R. Stubbs. It won only one Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Remake or Sequel.
- Seth Green, who appears in this movie, later created Robot Chicken. Two episodes have skits involving Scooby-Doo crossing over with Friday the 13th and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini and Matthew Lillard reprised their roles from the movie in both skits.
In an August 2004 interview, actor Matthew Lillard stated that there wasn't going to be a third Scooby Doo movie after Warner Brothers was unhappy that the film had a box office return of $84 million in the U.S. (box office gross mentioned earlier).