Before we get stuck into this review, let me start off by saying that yes, I am well aware that as a 50-year-old man I am most definitely NOT the target audience for this film. So what the hell was I doing watching it?
My girlfriend and I are big Scooby Doo fans and we’d just just watched all four of the live action movies. Where can we possibly go from here? I wondered. What can possibly fill the void left in our Saturday nights?
And then I got wind of this.
Daphne & Velma premiered in 2018 and takes place before the Scooby gang all get together. When we meet Daphne Blake she has a successful vlog in which she discusses evidence of paranormal activity and aliens etc. When we meet Velma Dinkley she is a socially awkward student at Ridge Valley High who believes that there is a logical explanation for everything.
However, they have not yet met each other, but all that changes when Daphne is transferred to Velma’s school and mysterious things start going down.
Able students are disappearing and then reappearing in a stupefied state, there is a strange locker that leads to who-knows-where and a ghostly figure is seen gliding through the corridors.
So far so Scooby Doo, but it does differ in a very big way. It abandons the ‘old school’ feel of the Scooby Doo cartoons and films in favour of something far more hi-tech. Ridge Valley High, where the mystery takes place, is operating at the cutting edge of science. One of my favourite gags, in fact, sees disgraced students being followed around by a drone that whines ‘Shame! Shame!’ wherever they go.
Sarah Jeffrey and Sarah Gilman are very likeable as our two heroes and the movie as a whole delivers enough twists and turns to hold the attention. Also, it zips along at a good pace and has a warm sense of humour. I watched it with my girlfriend and we both enjoyed it.
My only complaint, really, was that the director fluffed the action sequence at the end. There was no sense of danger and the whole thing felt a bit stilted. But that certainly wasn’t enough to ruin an otherwise fun film.
Given that Daphne & Velma is attached to such an iconic franchise as Scooby Doo, I’m amazed that I’d not heard of it earlier. But then, a great deal of this film’s charm lies in it’s discovery. I can’t help but wonder what other little gems are out there waiting to be found.