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Shrek 2 (2004)

  Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon
Written by: Andrew Adamson, William Steig, J. David Stem, Joe Stillman, David N. Weiss
Starring: Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, John Cleese, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
Links: Shrek 2 on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 5.50 (2 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 147th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Shrek 2 (2004) is also mentioned in andy-j's review of Meet the Fockers (2004).

"Not in the same league" - a review by pearly

I was not nearly as fond of Shrek 2 as I was of the original Shrek (2001). There are quite a few reasons. Here's a couple:

  • The fun nursery rhyme popular culture style references from the first film are different in this one. They're not nearly as fun, and they're more references to popular culture than the nursery rhymes from the first, meaning that there's nothing quirky about them. In this, they're just like in any other film.
  • The jokes are not of the same calibre. The character of Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas), a new addition to the fold, is meant to be one of the best things about the sequel, but I remained unimpressed. There's only so much big-eyed cuteness I can handle. Many of the ogre jokes had also become old by this point too.
  • Worst of all, the schmaltz level in this one is turned up to eleven. I thought that Shrek managed a fine balancing act of the nice sort of Full Houseesque cutesy "awwww" moments with the vulgar and funny lightheartedness. But with Shrek 2, it's all way too nice. The romance storylines head towards vomit-inducing territory, and there isn't nearly enough fun to balance this out to my tastes. Romance and schmaltz are fine, but I don't think that the Shrek franchise is the right place for them.

Overall, I just thought that this one lacked some of the charm that the first one possessed. Too commercial. Too ching-ching, let's cash in. And therefore, not as good. Not even the presence of John Cleese could pull it into the league of the original.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 1 Apr 2005

"I don't think I get it" - a review by mino

Look. I want to go on record right now: I wasn't a big fan of Shrek (2001), OK? Yeah, yeah, I know everyone on the planet ranted and raved about how good Shrek was, and how it was a wonderful movie that the whole family would love, but: meh. I just didn't find it that great. As you've probably worked out by now, I'm a big fan of a quality ‘kids’ or ‘family’ movie, so that might be surprising: but I just didn't find it as entertaining as everyone else seemed to. Don't get me wrong, it was good: but it wasn't the groundbreaking, revolutionary thing that everyone else seemed to think. Sure, it was a fun, family-friendly computer-animated feature: but so are all the Pixar movies, and in my opinion they're all far superior.

Therefore, I didn't have massively high expectations of Shrek 2. I was expecting a light, entertaining but not hilarious animated film which was probably not going to be as good as the original, but still quite good value (after all, how hard is it to totally stuff up a movie like this? Not very). Turns out I was spot on the money.

Shrek 2, as you'd probably guess, isn't quite as impressive as the original in the plot stakes. Basically, the now-transformed-into-an-ogre Princess Fiona, and her new husband Shrek, head off to the kingdom of Far Far Away to have dinner with the King and Queen, Fiona's parents, in order for them to meet the new hubby. Of course, Mumsy and Dadsy don't know that Fiona's an ogre now — or that her new husband is — and Dad (John Cleese), in particular, is singularly unimpressed, and sets off trying to hook Fiona back up with the hubby he had lined up, Prince Charming. What follows is a mix of assassination attempts, magic, skullduggery, and malicious Fairy Godmothers.

As with Shrek, I found Shrek 2 to be rather flat. It's hard to explain: all the right elements are there. There's quality voice talent (though some, like Cleese and Rupert Everett, who plays Prince Charming, seem somehow flat, as if they don't really care to be there), there's toilet humour, there's beautiful computer animation, there's subtle hidden gags and pop-culture references. Sounds exactly like a Pixar movie, right? Right. Somehow, though, it just doesn't gel. It's like the Dreamworks animation folks just watched a few of the Pixar films, thought ‘we could do that’, and then threw something together. Like Frankenstein's Monster, the pieces are all there, they just don't work together all that well. Also like Frankenstein's Monster, the whole thing comes across as slightly cold and heartless (OK, Frankenstein's Monster may have actually had a heart. I don't remember, OK? Just bear with me).

There are some funny moments (though not much that's hilarious), and there's a great deal of fun to be had in spotting the references to other movies and so on — which range from The Little Mermaid (1989) to Blazing Saddles (1974) — as well as the little background gags. Antonio Banderas is a very good addition to the cast as the swashbuckling swordscat Puss-In-Boots, too. The whole thing, though, just seems forced. The jokes are generally way too obvious, and it all smacks of Dreamworks just having run through a big ol' checklist to make sure they didn't miss anything. One galling example is the totally pointless, tacked-on, and unfunny inclusion of one of the best-loved characters from the first film, the Gingerbread Man, along with a horribly awkward reprise of his ‘Muffin Man’ bit. Way, way, way too tryhard.

I'm sure kids will love it, and the same people who were in raptures over Shrek will probably think it's the bee's knees too. Alas, for me, Shrek 2 is just an OK-but-not-really-good rehash of a movie that was good-but-not-great.

mino gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 5 Aug 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 5.50
Lowest rating: 5 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 6 (by mino)
 
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Reader comments

  1. I thought Shrek2 was nowhere near as good as the original, in contrast to almost everyone else I know. The jokes just seemed a little forced, the humour more contrived (the Sir Justin photo?).

    Rating given: 6

    A comment from BHR (http://photosydney.blogspot.com) on Wed 12 Jan 2005 01:47 #

  2. Great movie couldnt be better

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from gavin on Sun 23 Jan 2005 10:00 #

  3. twas an alright movie except the cinema's !@#$'ed up 1/2 way thru. we were sitting in the dark for bout 5 minutes before the movie came back on again =.=" missed alot of the magic potion factory scene.

    A comment from aishiteru on Thu 14 Apr 2005 18:26 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 8.00 (2 ratings)

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