I finally got to check out one of the newest Scooby Doo films the other day. I tend to like most of the films a lot and the worst ones are usually still a little enjoyable. I did not appreciate the terribly animated one or the musical, but the films tend to have a decent amount of quality behind them. That being said, Moon Monster Madness still surpassed my expectations as it ended up being one of the best Scooby Doo films out there! I could not believe just how good it was. We got some great tense scenes and the whole parody of alien plots gimmick that this film had worked out quite well. It doesn’t mean that all of the comedy plots worked out and the film had a plot hole or two as well, but for the most part, Scooby Doo was a complete success!
The gang has been invited to go to space! Some of the world’s most popular figures are going aboard and the Mystery Inc has been invited to represent the average person so everyone could feel like this new space adventure was welcoming. The suspects include a football player, a host for a news program, an astronaut, two older astronauts, and a millionaire who basically funded this whole thing. Naturally, all of them should be suspected immediately and a fun exercise that I do when watching a film like this is that I’ll make everyone choose a suspect right from the get go. I voted for the Football player since he’s kind of the obvious pick, which meant that maybe people wouldn’t want to vote for him so then the film would actually make him the villain. You always have to be 3 steps ahead of the writers, but the problem is that you may stay ahead of them sometimes, which ends up backfiring.
Right off the bat I can mention that Velma was really unlikable in this film. She spent the whole film just being jealous of Daphne and it got old as soon as the plot started. Velma’s a petty character, but she takes it to a whole new level here. Whether it be insulting Ridley or ridiculing Daphne, Velma has no sense of bashfulness or the self-dignity to keep it together without resorting to…insults. She’s easily my least favorite member of the crew and that was true before this film. The adventure did her no favors.
Daphne wasn’t even rude to Velma if you ask me. She was having fun hanging out with her new friend, but she wasn’t actively snubbing Velma or trying to be upset. She’s just oblivious to the fact that Velma is being shunned and while she should stand up for Velma or make a noticeable effort to keep throwing Velma into the conversations, it’s no reason for Velma to get so heated. Instead of being happy for Daphne, Velma is immediately jealous and shows how she obsesses over test scores. Daphne is critical to helping out the heroes at the end of this film as she shows off her true talents. I wouldn’t have minded if a plot twist about the test scores hadn’t happened though, it would have been a nice moment for her.
Fred’s gimmick leads to a bit of a plot hole, but he still proves to be the best member of the gang. He doesn’t know how to turn the speaker on in his suit so he can’t hear others talking. This leads to him repeating what the others are saying or just making random statements when he feels like it. Fred often takes the lead in these adventures and still does think up the game changing plan, but I could have done without the suit plot. It was interesting to see him annoy the old guys over and over again. In a sense, that’s what Velma should have been doing. If she really wanted to hang out with the popular crowd, then she should just pretend not to notice all of the snubs and insults that the other characters are throwing at her. Velma can move past all of that and pretend to be oblivious. It’s a successful strategy as I can verify.
Shaggy and Scooby are pretty true to form as they eat a lot and try to defend themselves from the alien. The chase scene on the Moon is more intense than usual as they even fire a rocket at the creature. That’s not the kind of action that you would usually expect from Scooby Doo, but it works nicely here and shows how powerful the alien is. Scooby and Shaggy keep it together through thick and thin. They’re still not as fun as Fred, but they gave a good role here.
There’s another intense scene in the film where the Football player breaks out into song and gets very emotional. I actually enjoyed the scene and thought that it was handled pretty well. It gave the football player another level of depth and made him one of the more impressive supporting characters. He even tried to fight a little in the big battle against the robot. Uboat was a little rude for no reason at times though so he wasn’t exactly flawless.
The two retired Astronauts weren’t bad. They never took direct shots at Fred even though he constantly irritated them. Their decision to leave Fred and Daphne in cold storage was pretty dangerous, but it all worked out in the end I suppose. The fashion astronaut was essentially the overly nice character. It may be a little tough to buy her act, but for the most part she seems like a good character. One may wonder if she is really oblivious to how Velma keeps getting shut out of the action and I don’t buy that either, but I suppose that you never know. The character is actually pretty interesting though and she’s not one dimensional, which is good.
I can’t say that I really enjoyed the plot between the rich guy and his brother though. So…the brother stayed on the space station by himself for years…just because it was his job? Maybe it was months, but that doesn’t matter, I would have just been clocking in 9-5 and then heading home for the weekends. At the very least, I’d want some Domino’s pizza delivered. It just felt pretty iffy even if the rich guy said that he now understands the true meaning of friendship. That being said, the rich guy wasn’t bad. I like how he came to the launch site with a suit made of money. Now that’s an awesome publicity stunt right there and I hope that someone pulls it off in real life as well.
The news guy flirted with Velma a little too much so I can’t say that he was a great character. It’s a shame since he could have almost fooled you into thinking that he was main character material with his personality. He’s a go getter and isn’t afraid to jump into the fray. It would be neat if he believed in his job a little more though. Ridley was a great character and it was good to see someone who knew how to fight aliens. Her subplot of being able to talk sci-fi with the rich guy’s brother was also poorly timed and written, but that doesn’t happen until the end. Until then, Ridley shows why she is the world’s foremost expert on Xenomorphs. She’s always ready for a fight and the name is iconic.
We even have a robot on board who is pretty interesting. He always tries to keep up with the human customs, but it just doesn’t work. The characters aren’t very sympathetic, but why should they be. The robot actually threatens Scooby and Shaggy in a surprisingly grim scene and there’s a plot twist at the end that makes the whole thing even more intense. I could have done without the twist, but it was certainly interesting.
There are two big villains here aside from the suspect who is guilty of course. One of them is a giant robot, which made someone exclaim “Pac Man!” The similarities to the two characters are uncanny and it’s one of the highlights of the film. The fight scene was fun. Of course, the villain who really stole the show was the alien, which was a homage to a Xenomorph. The creature tanked a missille that was shot and it can move very quickly. This wasn’t your average Scooby Doo villain and it’s a main reason as to why the film was so good. Even without the robot or the monster, the action scenes really have a lot of tension to them and the stakes are pretty life threatening for once. The heroes have to think fast amidst the falling debris and one by one they are picked off.
The animation is as solid as can be expected. Scooby Doo’s never been known for its animation and it’s certainly not something that will knock your hat off, but it’s good enough. Everything can clearly be seen and while the animation doesn’t take any risks, it can handle a talking scene as well as anyone. There’s even a epic soundtrack here as well! Get ready for some surprisingly fast paced themes and epic pieces of music that are fitting for battles of such magnitude.
Overall, This was a great Scooby Doo films and it easily ranks up there as one of the best. I have been debating for a while on whether this really is the best Scooby Doo film or not. Zombie Island, Cyber Chase, The Wrestling one, The Blue Falcon, and even the classic Witch films are all fairly strong contenders. It’s a very deep discussion with a lot of areas to think about, but I’m fairly confident that this one can hold its own. Check it out and you won’t be disappointed.