Film Review: Shrek 2

Posted in Reviews on July, 22 2004 11:49 PM

Shrek 2 PosterStarring (the voices of): Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy

Cert: U

 

We left Shrek and Princess Fiona driving off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Or did we? After all, this is real life fairy tales and now Shrek is married it’s time to meet the in-laws and Fiona’s parents are King and Queen of Far Far Away.

 

Needless to say they aren’t too pleased that Fiona has permanently changed into an ogre and that she married an ogre. It turns out that there had been a plan in place that a real Prince Charming was due to rescue her but he turned up too late. So the King wants rid of Shrek, Prince Charming wants rid of Shrek and so does Fiona’s Fairy Godmother.

 

The moral is all about image again and how we perceive ourselves through other people’s eyes. But that’s for the adults to get. As for the kiddies, they’ll see Shrek’s life threatened, potions taken, a new ‘Shrek’ and ‘Donkey’ and everyone trying to sort themselves out before the stroke ofmidnight.

 

The fun in these films is trying to point out all the extraneous stuff going on; the fair folk who Dreamworks systematically abuse and identifying the other celebrity voices being employed (quite a British ensemble). Had you read an earlier article about two of the characters’ voices being changed for the British public then, like me, you may spot those characters sticking out like sore thumbs – one more than the other – and the funny thing being that the particular British talent weren’t even credited. The US originals were in the cast list; and the character Joan Rivers had originally voiced looked like Joan Rivers and was even called Joan Rivers.

 

One addition to the Shrek troupe is Puss in Boots voiced by Antonio Banderas. A swashbuckling ginger cat (listen for the Garfield reference) who is as vicious as he is wide-eyed adorable. One wonders whether the characters arise from story development or their merchandising potential. Also check-out the platform game scene that’s coming to a console near you.

 

The norm is that sequels are a pale imitation of their originals. Shrek lacks the novelty of originality simply because of the first film so that can’t be helped. Where it makes up for it is in the support characters, a fairly convoluted plot that may slip past the younger viewers and brilliant animation.

 

NB: Await the roll of credits for an extra scene and to see that it really is Jennifer Saunders doing her singing.

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