Scooby Doo Shaggy’s Showdown
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Summary (from amazon.com):
When the Scooby gang visits a dude ranch, they discover that it and the nearby town have been haunted by a ghostly cowboy, Dapper Dan, who fires real fire from his fire irons. The mystery only deepens when it’s discovered that the ghost is also the long lost relative of Shaggy Rogers!
As the newest movie in the franchise, I had high hopes for this one. The beginning was encouraging, but then I was discouraged by nearly everything that followed. When starting this movie the biggest thing that stood out to me was that Kate Micucci is the new voice of Velma and because of that is obviously going to have many more funny one liners, which is a step up from mean Velma (Monster Moon Madness). In fact, her opening joke is that she can’t stand the font on the dude ranches website, which is a joke that every computer scientist and their mother uses. Nonetheless, I got a good chuckle out of it.
The introduction of characters was incredibly confusing. Once the gang arrives at the dude ranch, the secondary characters just keep coming out of the woodworks. There’s a family with a too-cool-for-you daughter and a Justin Beiber knockoff son, two business men who are obviously there as red herrings, two rambunctious sisters who are constantly pulling pranks, a jack of all trades ranch worker, the web designer of the dude ranch’s website, Shaggy’s long lost cousin, and, believe it or not, many more. With so many characters it was impossible for them to develop even a fraction of them. The movie gave it a valiant try, but the secondary character arcs are boring (ex: Buddy G being afraid of horses) and in the end, most of those characters do absolutely nothing. Bottom line there was too many characters, but not enough characterization.
The most disappointing part of this movie was by far the plot. It moved so slowly. The character design of Dapper Jack was actually pretty good, but unfortunately I felt he didn’t get a lot of screen time. Dapper Jack’s motive for terrorizing the town was unclear until the ending monologue of the guilty party. One thing this movie did well on was the gang actually attempted to spent time finding clues and creating theories, which normally helps the plot move along. Unfortunately, the clues are so vague they don’t really illuminate on who might be behind the mystery.
There were a few references to previous movies, such as when Fred talks about Camp Little Moose that was greatly appreciated. I’ve always been a big fan of continuity between a movie franchise, even if it’s really small.
The most interesting part of the movie to watch (not necessarily a good or bad thing) was by far this:
I mean look at those dance moves! Who choreographed them? Kenny Ortega?
The best word to describe this movie would be that it was a disappointment. In the newest era of the Scooby-Doo movie franchise the movies have all been hits or misses and I was desperately hoping that this would be another hit, but in the end I would have to categorize this one as a miss.