A Non-Review of “SCOOB!” | Column from the Editor

As an independent film critic, I get to pick and choose which new releases I review, which sometimes is also a choice of which films I choose to support financially. This often puts me in a situation where I support films that I greatly disagree with, but want to discuss. 

This year’s “SCOOB!” is a film I do not support on principle. I might be wrong, and the film is terrific, but what I see in “SCOOB!” is yet another shallow Hollywood cash-grab in which the film’s producers have hired unqualified and horribly miscast celebrity voice actors in hopes of milking as much nostalgia as they can, without being its own thing or true to the IP. Its biggest warning sign: They did not ask Matthew Lillard, the quintessential voice of the character Shaggy and Casey Kasem’s heir apparent to the role, to voice his character, or have any involvement in the film, and other veteran voice actors from the series were also not asked to reprise their roles. For me, that’s like not asking Mark Hamill to voice The Joker in “The Killing Joke.” It’s just something you don’t do. 

It might seem silly to boycott a movie based on legacy actors not being asked back/have any involvement in the film, but to me it sends a clear message about the film’s producers and their respect for the subject matter, which is a property I grew up with and love to this day. “SCOOB!” is not entitled to my financial support, and I just prefer to spend my money elsewhere. 

I’m just not interested in “SCOOB!” It doesn’t look like a film that has anything to offer me as a fan of the series, and if what I suspect is true — that the film is a soulless cash grab banking on celebrity voices and nostalgia — I don’t think the film deserves to do well financially, and I don’t want to send Hollywood the message that I want more projects like this.

With that being said, just because I choose not to support a film when it comes out, does not mean I will not watch it once it hits streaming. Perhaps I will see it later this year and I’ll enjoy it, and I’ll be completely wrong about it. But at this current moment, I don’t think it’s worth supporting and it doesn’t look like it would merit any interesting discussion. 

Part of me hopes that I’m wrong about “SCOOB!” But with it premiering through Video On Demand, it is pretty much destined to not make a profit, regardless of its quality. 

VOD has room to grow, but it’s currently a market flooded by B-movies and C-list talent. I think it’s too soon for a film originally meant for the theater to do well there, especially when streaming giants like Netflix are offering compelling and interesting content from A-list talent on a regular basis for under $15 a month. 

“SCOOB!” is priced at $20 on most VOD services. That’s the price of two movie tickets where I’m from. And it doesn’t even have Matthew Lillard as Shaggy. 

Sorry, but I’m going to pass on this movie. 

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