Thursday, August 25, 2016

'Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon' Is as Goofy as It Suggests

Scooby-Doo! crossing over with the WWE isn’t quite that peculiar.  Such thing isn’t unprecedented.  Just last year, it crossed over with KISS.  And back in the 70’s, there was a Scooby-Doo show called The New Scooby-Doo Movies (which I was able to watch as a kid because Cartoon Network re-ran it), which featured the Scooby Gang teaming up with real-life celebrities (e.g. The Harlem Globetrotters, The Three Stooges) or fictional characters (e.g. Batman and Robin, The Addams Family).  Heck, this isn’t even the first time the cartoon collaborated with WWE; they made the movie Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery back in 2014.

However, though the concept of a Scooby-Doo!/WWE crossover isn’t really bizarre, Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon is pretty ridiculous nonetheless.  (Some mild spoilers ahead.)
First and foremost, the plot revolves around WWE’s latest venture: “The Muscle Moto X Off Road Challenge.”  It’s a three-part Death Race-style race (or, rather, something closer to Wacky Races) that features WWE Superstars driving customized vehicles that look like a cross between a race car and a monster truck.  But it gets more complicated as a demon racer named Inferno aims to sabotage the race.  Coincidentally, the Scooby Gang is at hand to help solve the mystery. 

The premise alone is silly and absurd, but here are some more details that make the whole movie goofier:
  • There are some unlikely participants and groupings in this race.  Diego, Fernando, and El Torito in the Pamplona Especial; Sheamus, Stardust, and Goldust in the Celtic Cruiser; Paige and The Miz in 2 Awesome; Rusev and Lana in the Moscow Express; Dusty Rhodes (!) and The Undertaker in the Legendmobile; and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the Company Car.  They are probably the only guys available to do the voice work.
  • Kofi Kingston, serving as the race’s reporter, rides a drone camera as if it’s a hoverboard.
  • Shaggy and Scooby are portrayed to be big fans of the Undertaker.  But when they get to meet him in person, they can’t help to shake in fear because of his intimidating persona and their cowardly nature.  It’s really amusing to see the two simultaneously geek out and be terrified.
  • Almost all of the WWE figures were animated well.  I said “almost all” because Michael Cole looks nothing like his animated avatar.  (As for their voice acting, they did well most of the time, though there are also a few times where they aren’t quite convincing.)
  • Dusty Rhodes is one of the WWE Superstars participating.  It’s strange, not because he already passed away last year – apparently, according to what I’ve read, he finished recording his lines prior his death – but because he’s portrayed as if he’s still actively working among this generation of wrestlers when, in real life, he had been retired for a very long time already.
  • Mr. McMahon sings the American national anthem.
Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon is very dumb and bonkers.  However, it’s okay enough to give young fans of both the WWE and Scooby-Doo! a great, enjoyable time.  If something like this happened back then, my ten-year-old self will adore it.

But even as an adult, I still sincerely had fun with this movie.   When the wrestlers did their iconic moves, or even delivered awful puns that reference WWE themes (which are sometimes stressed in case one would miss it. Lol.), I was delighted a bit.  Even the times when it was being stupid, I found it hilarious instead of annoying.

It’s completely bananas, unsophisticated, and almost nonsensical.  But it’s entertaining when taken in a proper perspective.
Scooby-Doo! is one of my most favorite cartoon properties ever.  And between this movie and the Lego one earlier this year – plus the recent apocalyptic reinvention by DC Comics – I’m glad that there remain constant attempts to keep it relevant today.   

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