Written by J. David Stem,
Joe Stillman and David N. Weiss
Directed by Andrew Adamson,
Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon
Running Time: 1:32
for some crude humor,
a brief substance reference
and some suggestive content.
Shrek 2 reminded me a lot of the first Shrek in that there were times where it was totally laugh-out-loud funny, but then there were times where it felt kind of slow.
We start off on Shrek and Fiona's honeymoon. Everything is very happy and odd since it is two ogres on a honeymoon. But things start changing once they get back to the swamp. Not only are they greeted by their old friend Donkey, but there is a message from Fiona's parents, the King and Queen of Far, Far Away. They request the presence of their daughter and her new husband. Little do the King and Queen know that their lovely daughter was rescued by a giant green ogre, and that Fiona is also an ogre. The King wants her to marry Prince Charming. So the King, under the influence of Fiona's Fairy Godmother, who also happens to be Prince Charming's mother, devises a plan to get rid of Shrek by getting the fiercest fighter the world has even seen... Puss-in-Boots! Alas, the plan goes haywire but there are always other plans that may or may not work. This being a fairy tale, there is of course, a happy ending.
As I said before, there are some scenes in Shrek 2 that are just downright hilarious. And they're not always big things, they're little references here and there that I just found really funny. Any time they did a movie parody I loved it. Pinocchio and his cross-dressing had me rolling. Any time Donkey sang I couldn't help but laugh. Puss-in-Boots and his sinister fighting technique of having big eyes. They manage to fit in so many things into a 92 minute film it amazes me. There was one total throwaway shot with Shrek lying in bed with Fiona and looking at a picture she had up on the wall of Sir Justin (a.k.a. Justin Timberlake) that made me cough with laughter. It was just so from out of right field, it had nothing to do with anything, but it was funny.
The 'problem' with these kinds of films is that there needs to be a story. I say that's a problem because that means the movie slows down some to move the plot along. And being a romantic kind of story, it got kind of sad and sappy at times. I mean, it's not that it was bad, but with a movie that has the ability to be so funny in so many different ways, any scene that wasn't played for laughs felt out of place. But the story was a strong one. Some animated films just assume that you'll like the fact that cartoons are talking and don't bother putting together a decent story line. This story at its basic level was solid. What parent doesn't want their daughter to marry a Prince Charming over an ogre? And sometimes parents will use different tactics to help move the situation along. Granted, not everyone has a spell-casting fairy godmother in the mix, but this is a fairy tale after all.
Once again the animation was top notch. There was one shot in particular that involved the camera panning down a tree and landing on Shrek and Donkey as they walked through the forest that was amazing. Not because it did anything special, but that because the shot of the tree was so amazing it looked like it was an honest to god real tree. The animation for the movie otherwise didn't look too different from the first one, although I did seem to notice they did a lot more with lights and shadows, but it's still incredible how far computer animation has come over the last few years. When movies try not to do too much with the animation it can look tremendous.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Shrek 2 was a lot of fun. And it definitely helps when you see the movie with a great friend who is a huge fan of Shrek and has a wonderful, infectious laugh. If you liked the first, you'll love the sequel.