June 19, 2009

Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword (2009)

MY RELATIONSHIP WITH the Scooby-Doo gang has been a rocky one lately. On a leap of faith, Dash and I watched the direct-to-video movie Scooby-Doo and The Loch Ness Monster, and surprisingly we loved it. Then we got burned on the next Scooby d-to-v release, Scooby-Doo: Pirates Ahoy!

Now, there’s a brand new d-to-v Scooby film with the potentially awesome title, Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword. I searched in vain to find it at our local video stores or On Demand…then found it in the “For Sale” box at our local library for just $1.

Maybe that should’ve tipped me off…

Plot:
The Scooby gang arrives in Tokyo, Japan so Daphne can enter a martial arts tournament at an ancient temple that houses a martial arts school. (Who knew she had the “chops?” HEY-o!) They arrive just after the Ghost of the Black Samurai broke out of a local museum in search of the Scroll of Destiny, which (wouldn’t ya know) resides at the temple hosting the tournament.

Critique:

After some heard-it-before one-liners from Scooby and Shaggy, and clever nods to Enter the Dragon and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Samurai loses its strength – and the attention span of the viewer – fast. By the second act, we’re lectured at length about all kinds of convoluted Japanese folklore that’s too much for kids to follow, let alone adults.

Don’t get me wrong, it all sounds really cool – The Black Samurai, the Scroll of Destiny, the Green Dragon, the Sword of Doom – but coolness quickly gives way to information overload. (It’s as if screenwriter Joe Sichta completed a course on Japanese mythology right before penning his script, and he’s eager to show us what he learned.)

Samurai was so hard to stick with, not even the robot ninjas (that’s right: robot ninjas) could keep our interest.

This movie literally put both of us to sleep before the third act. That gives it the dubious honor of being the only movie besides Valiant that we didn’t finish before providing a review.

And I don’t intend on watching the rest…not even for a Scooby Snack.

Rating: 1.5 stars (out of 5)

What did Dash think?
I don’t know, let me wake him up and ask him. Dash…Dash…?

Will your kids want to watch it?
Possibly…everybody’s tastes are different. In addition to DVD, Samurai is currently running on Cartoon Network. Maybe catch it on TV for free rather than renting or buying the DVD. That way, if nobody in your household likes it, no big deal…though there’ll still be the small manner of 90 minutes of your life you’ll never get back.

Will your FilmMother want to watch it?
Doubtful, even if she has nostalgia for Scooby-Doo. For worthwhile viewing of newer Scooby adventures, have her watch the aforementioned Scooby-Doo and The Loch Ness Monster.

I SAID, not even for a Scooby Snack!!

Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword
* Director: Christopher Berkeley
* Screenwriter: Joe Sichta
* Stars: Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Brian Cox, Grey DeLisle, Kelly Hu, Casey Kasem, Kevin Michael Richardson, George Takei
* MPAA Rating: G


Buy this movie for less at Half.com >>
Netflix

4 comments:

Keith said...

It sounds like this one wasn't good. That's a shame. I've always likes Scooby.

Kristin said...

You made me laugh out loud on this one, and you know that's not an easy feat. And that pic of Scooby as a traditional Japanese woman is worth blogging about alone. :)

Jeff Allard said...

I know what you mean about having a rocky relationship with Scooby-Doo. My son's loved the show since my wife and I introduced him to the classic episodes but having luck with the newer movies and shows is always hit or miss. We'll steer clear of this one, though - thanks for the heads-up!

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