Cinema-Maniac: Scooby-doo! Wrestlemania Mystery (2014) Review

Scooby-Doo! despite sticking to its own formula has managed to remain culturally relevant since 1969. That’s impressive to be honest, though that should be credited to the appeal of the franchise mixing horror and comedy while also being easily accessible to any kind of audience of any age. Of course if proven by James Bond and Godzilla it’s not always going to be smooth sailing for a long running franchise. This is one of the causality with over a dozen or so incarnation of the cartoon it pretty difficult find any film more baffling in the franchise than this one.

Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery! is about Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred working with WWE Superstars to solve a mystery in WWE City. In short this is simply a promotional tool for the WWE. A coherent plot is about as far fetched as the events that play out in the movie. So, apparently in this film the creature that haunts WWE City is officially called “Ghost Bear”. The mystery tied to “Ghost Bear” goes into some absurd territory even by WWE standards. Apparently in the film there was a Bear named Vicious (don’t know why the writers didn’t go for Grizzly, Polar, Berenstain, or Pooh even) that was an unbeatable Wrestler who went on a rampage when he lost to wrestler Sin Cara (Faceless in English) grandfather in a match. Buying the idea of “Ghost Bear” is fathomable since by the end the film it’s a given it’s going to be one of the undeveloped characters presented. However, the idea that former Bear wrestler “Vicious” potentially had a son that wants to enact revenge against the WWE is really pushing it. There’s only a certain amount of absurdity one can buy before losing the audience. Another negative mark about “Ghost Bear” is that it’s a rushed mystery. It isn’t until the halfway mark does the mystery gang do any actual investigation. By that point it had completely removed one character who despite causing a rock slide to get rid off of the mystery gang is never mentioned again. Every clue needed to solve the mystery is conveniently found in one location. Rushing out explanations that in the grand scheme of things makes you question the film own logic.

The mystery severely misses it mark in providing any resemblance of an intrigue. Everything not related to the mystery offer little to sink your teeth into. For starter its intentional jokes will make crickets laugh. Anyone who has an understanding of video games even if you just played them once will have issue with how hypnotism is tied with it. So assuming that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are playing a WWE video game on the Kinect (though that’s bit of a stretch seeing the accuracy of the device in the film) require the player to perform a bit of break dancing and acrobatics to get a high score. Considering the explanation the culprit gives it puts into perspective how slim the possibility were for his plan to work. This among introducing some even goofier characters none more highlighted than with John Cena. His appearance in the film is a literal ego boost being able to lift a van, stop giant boulder, and hold his own against a Bear. To be fair the wrestlers do retain their quirks (evens the stupid ones like the you can’t, but clearly can see me line), although only Sin Cara and John Cena get any substantial amount of screen time. Sin Cara only speaks in luchadore (physical acrobatics basically) requiring John Cena (ego) to translate it. The rest of the wrestlers only make cameos appearances with their presence leaving something to desired. Aside from serving as references for wrestling fans they don’t do anything.

Animation is a mixed bag. Character and landscape have simple designs to them, but no degree of detail is added often looking jagged with disproportional body parts. There’s no degree of shading, lighting, or added line detail in movement. Everything looks basic with characters wearing single color clothing. No variation in color either being bright or dark and nothing else in between. It does move smoothly for the most part. It hardly does anything complicated with it scenes, but there’s a noticeable dip in quality whenever multiple characters move at the same time resulting in a lag. Requiring at times for characters to remain static while another is talking. Wrestling matches are few in number and short on duration. These wrestling matches are over the top entertainment with no kind of rules being applied to them. I’m sure the wrestling match between Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Kane, Sin Cara, and a Bear went down in Wrestlemania history as one of the great matches in WWE history. Voice acting is another of mixed quality. The voice talent of Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey DeLisle, and Mindy Cohn are dependable as the mystery gang. They don’t bring anything new to the established personalities, but understand the their characters bringing each of their own characteristic in their line reading. WWE wrestlers on the other hand just sound bored. John Cena at least try to sound enthusiastic when you’re fighting a Bear. Come on man you were in….um actually was film credit does John Cena have on his resume; Fred: The Movie, Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred, Camp Fred, The Marine, and 12 Rounds okay so long Cena doesn’t require his mouth to move he sell himself as a credible silent action hero. Kane voice acting sounds like it was recorded when he was falling asleep. For someone who is meant to sound intimidating he sound very cranky to have been woken up. Music is forgettable with easily the most generic guitar pumping overload rock rendition of the Scooby-Doo theme song.

Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery! is product glorification. Constantly praising the WWE brand and stroking the ego of some its wrestlers take center stage as the film main events. With story and entertainment value in the sideline hardly getting a chance in the spotlight.

3/10

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