*** Official SHREK 2 Review Thread

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Shrek 2". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



Crawdaddy
 

Ray Chuang

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This is, without doubt, the best movie I've seen so far in 2004, no contest.


Between the very good storytelling (almost as good as the original!), superb animation, GREAT new characters, and so many parodies that you either need to see the movie at least three times and/or eventually get the DVD to see it all, I enjoyed the movie from almost the beginning to the end!


Two characters I really liked are Puss'n'Boots (perfectly voiced by Antonio Banderas--and I really mean it!) and the Fairy Godmother as voiced by Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame--just perfect for this movie, to say the least.

By the way, this movie definitely parodies Beauty and the Beast (the Disney animated feature) brilliantly, especially if you've seen the Special Edition.


out of
 

Patrick Sun

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You'll walk out of the theater with a big smile on your face. After a beginning segment paced a little slow (and intentionally awkward), once the film kicks into another gear, it never lets up on the fun and the homages. I liked how they integrated the homages to push the story forward.

Pus-n-boots (Antonio Banderas) was so funny to me, he pretty much stole every scene he was in. The rest of the cast chimed in when needed and added to a fun viewing experience.

I give it 3.75 stars, or a grade of A-.
 

Brook K

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While an improvement over the original, if only because there's slightly less Shrek, the most unlikeable star of a mainstream animated movie in recent memory, (how many hours of ogre angst are we going to be subjected to?) the movie is still weighed down by its premise of apeing fairy tale structure. The creators use zero imagination in the telling, only in how many oh so clever fake product placements and references can be squeezed into the running time.

The film would be a dull sit if not for the presence of Eddie Murphy's donkey character, who carries this movie on his furry back even more than he did the original. Virtually all the laughs are his lines after the enormously promising but quickly disappointing debut of Puss 'n Boots. Puss, while not given "The Bob Barker Treatment" physically, receives it from the writers who turn a great idea into just another supporting character.

I laughed more than I make it sound like I did, but the final straw is the movie's atrocious soundtrack. Wasn't the shelf life of "La Vida Loca" up at least three years ago? And yet it's a centerpiece tune here.

C+ w/ a B+/A- for Murphy and a C- for all the rest.
 

Arman

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Shrek 2 is a hilarious Scary Movie of animation (Scary Movie series is not funny at all) but it is basically a recycle of the original Shrek.

Shrek, 2 (B, 75) [Shrek, B+/A-, 89/90]

[Yeah, yeah, yeah I expected Shrek 2 (& filmmakers behind Shrek franchise) to be like what Tarantino had done to Kill Bill 2/s or at least for it to have the same virtuosity and inventiveness of Babe: Pig in the City and Toy Story 2 (though they are not as great as The Triplets of Belleville, Finding Nemo, Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies, they are more daring and arguably, a step-up or even better than their originals)]
 

ScottR

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A very enjoyable and funny film, but it seemed to be lacking the heart of the original.

Good: Puss N' Boots
Fairy Godmother
The colors were brilliant
Better animation than the original

Bad: Thin Plot
Shrek was more of a supporting character
The whole marital problems issue seems slightly out of
place here.

Overall: ***/****
Original Shrek: ***1/2/****
 

Adam_S

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(out of four) - great movie

Shrek 2 isn't as good as the first, but that's because it's trying to hard to imitate the first. The moments when the film gets to cut loose and build on the original spirit of the first are the best moments, the moments when they're deliberately trying to imitate the great moments of the first are the most annoying moments. The first of these really occurs in the opening montage, both the little mermaid reference was a bit forced (though funny in the middle of the from here to eternity reference) and especially annoying was the fiona kicks ass moment in the montage. The numerous times sad songs intrude seem to be a pale imitation of Shrek's Hallelujah sequence (which in my opinion is the best non pixar american animation sequence since Iron Giant and one that is comparable to the best moments of the great Disney films and for me is what elevated the film to four stars).

There are a handful of plot inconsistencies such as what happened to dragon when donkey took the potion and how the pals got to the jail so fast (my guess is that a sequence with dragon taking them was dropped for the middle end credits sequence gag).

I didn't really care for the plot or the themes, I thought it sorta undermined and then halfheartedly reinforced those of the first one, I think it was a mistake for Shrek to take the potion, as it's not something I really wanted to see, and every moment he was onscreen like that it completely took me out of the film because there was no character to his animation, he's not the same when he's not green

Also I've been annoyed since seeing the previews that Donkey is a white stallion. What the F is up with that? why not a black stallion, they could even work in a lot of fun jokes that way. I guess the problem is that our culture subconsciously equates white with beauty, success, purity, desirability etc and so we get it as those representations. Since Donkey is essentially an updated Stepinfetchit character/sidekick, I suppose it seems natural for hollywood writers to have him want to be white as his greatest desire.


BUT, the goods tend to outweigh the bad, the film is almost always as sly and clever as the original was, sometimes it obvious sometimes not, thankfully the phallic jokes are absent, but there's a lot more bodily function humor. What's more is that we already like or love these characters and it's a delight to join them in yet another story, even if the story isn't all that original it is still, ultimately, very fun and definitely enjoyable. I would watch this again, and I will when it comes to DVD.

I think David Poland hit this on the head by saying it takes the "Leathal Weapon" sequel route. but I was disapointed that PussnBoots was never playing a double game--and how on earth did the filmmakers miss an oppurtunity to reference the Princess Bride in his 'debt-repayment' scene?

Adam
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Shrek 2 lacks the forward momentum of its original predecessor but is still a worthy follow up to the original. The sequel works using the same elements as its predecessor – parodies, lampoons, satire and the recurring jabs at Disney. The three main characters - Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona, are back along with some fairy tale creatures from the original and the introduction of some new ones.

The most talked about addition to the cast of characters is Puss In Boots played by Antonio Banderas. Puss makes quite a grand entrance to the proceedings but is quickly de-clawed after just a few minutes onscreen. That’s too bad because they could have done a lot more with this character rather than becoming just another sidekick and singing Livin' La Vida Roca.

Jennifer Saunders as the Fairy Godmother is the one that actually adds some spice to the entire picture. Her character and contribution is key to the sustainability of this outing.

The animation is well done with some vibrant colors and additional emphasis to background detail. However, as to the music, the original is better able to weave previously released musical material to its storyline.

Shrek 2 contains a lot of jokes that will surely be missed the first time around. Repeat viewings will be needed to fully digest all of the referenced jokes. The film is also the latest from DreamWorks Animation (DWA) sporting a brand new logo and introduction (that I have seen). DWA recently had Wall Street abuzz about a possible initial public offering to rival Pixar Studios. But in order for DreamWorks to beat Pixar in the computer animated film arena, it will have to be more creative in its total work product along with some very original storytelling.

~Edwin
 

Jason Seaver

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½

At a certain point, a comedy wins. You overlook characters who don't reach their full potential, the jokes that weren't quite funny, and weak plotting because you have laughed enough to justify the $6.50 you spent. Often, when a comedy works, there's one bit that pushes you over the edge to the point where the rest of the movie could be Adam Sandler and Gilbert Gottfried arguing over traffic and parking without the movie possibly moving into the loss column. For me, for this movie, it was during one of the big set-pieces, where, having already primed the comedy pump by breaking into a song so definitively 80s that it was on the Footloose soundtrack, the sound guys insert Godzilla noises. I lost it then, though I had greatly enjoyed the movie up until then - that was the point when Shrek 2 went from being funny to being a favorite.

The story itself is simplicity itself - upon returning from their honeymoon, Shrek and Fiona are invited to visit Fiona's parents in the Kingdom Far Far Away. Shrek and King Harold (John Cleese) do not get along, and Harold tries to remove Shrek from the picture to clear the way for Fiona's arranged marriage to Prince Charming (Rupert Everett), the daughter of the Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders). Hilarity ensues.

One thing I couldn't help but notice is that this movie looks really amazing. The first Shrek was funny, but I found it visually a step down for Pacific Data Images from Antz; there were several sequences that yelled out video game. Here, though, everything looks smooth. It's worth noting that human models still aren't quite up to the more fantastical ones - in the first movie, the model of Princess Fiona looked good in part because we saw it before we saw the ogre Fiona. Here, we see the fantasy creatures first, and the humans don't seem nearly as expressive.

Two of the new voices, though, are keepers - John Cleese as King Harold is, well, John Cleese, and hilarious. Antonio Banderas plays Puss In Boots, a relatively unknown (in America) fairy tale character, and does it with such charm that the flimsiness of his presence in the movie is able to be completely overlooked. That said, the funniest use of Puss is almost entirely visual, as he makes gigantic cute-kitten eyes.

Is Shrek 2 quite as brilliant as the original? Maybe not. It's a little clumsier with the use of music (I may still buy this soundtrack, though), squanders Julie Andrews and Rupert Everett, and doesn't make quite as much use of the "Fairy Godmother" idea as it could. It does, however, have Eddie Murphy at his best, and frequently achieves the guffaws it aims for.
 

Brent Hutto

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Shrek was good and I've rewatched it a couple of times but it was more in my "guess it has its moments" range rather than becoming a personal favorite.

Shrek 2 is better is almost every way. The backgrounds and almost-too-fast-to-register throwaways are more chock full of detail than Shrek or just about any other movie I can recall. The colors are brilliant, the animation (except for the human and ogre character faces) is much improved and the addition of Puss in Boots is inspired. The story dragged a bit at moments, although no moreso than Shrek. Giving Shrek human form for a good part of the movie
was a big risk but worked out well enough. Shrek suffered from too much Donkey at time, Shrek 2 has just enough.

I said "almost every way". The biggest disappointment was the La Vida Loca closing song. Insipid song, terrible execution. The updated version of I'm A Believer in Shrek was fun, catchy and nigh perfect by comparison.
 

Chuck C

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Shrek 2 had good themes, but was not nearly as funny as the first. Some of the alternative songs spliced into the film were awkward. The end was the only time I gave a hearty laugh ("no you great oversized pastry!"). I felt that Shrek 2 tried too hard and only half succeeded. Maybe it was too lovey-dovey?

C+
 

Seth Paxton

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Shrek 2
8.5 of 10


Perhaps funnier than the first film, the most impressive aspect is that they were able to create a STORY that would put these characters into similar situations and with similar problems without being redundent. Of course their must always be new characters to the main group for a sequel and this film has the hilarious Puss In Boots. Another tried and true method is to give more screen time to some of the background characters from the first film, so if you liked Pinocchio or Gingerbread Man get ready to enjoy more of them.

I found the 2nd half funnier than the first half, but the whole film is thick with good references and lots of fun. The improvements with the animation are also noticeable as well.

I'd rate this sequel as a follow up to Shrek as being similar to how and how well Toy Story 2 followed up TS1. (I prefer the TS films)
 

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