Shrek 2 is pretty disappointing, although it passes the time.
Shrek was a surprise success, and along with Monsters, Inc. really solidified the notion of made-for-adults animation. It had charm, wit, good songs, and a fun story. The characters would be accepted by children, but the humour loved by adults. My mates loved Donkey, thinking it Eddie Murphy’s best work in years.
Three years later and Myers and co. are up for Shrek 2, and not much has changed. Donkey is still annoying, Shrek still has insecurity issues, and Princess Fiona just wants to be loved by her great big ogre of a husband. The characters are the same, the clever references to fairytale creatures and modern movies are still there, but the magic has gone.
Maybe it is just that – that more of the same isn’t going to satisfy us? Sure there are laughs to be had here, and the addition of Puss In Boots was a masterstroke. But it just felt kinda tired to me, like a pale imitation of a former glory.
The music is intrusive and frustrating. Whereas Shrek had a wonderful soundtrack – a great closing song and music that complemented the images – Shrek 2 has an over-the-top song list, too many song-and-dance numbers, and was just too loud. Give me a moment of respite please! The ending of Shrek with ‘I’m A Believer’ was fantastic, but there was nothing of that quality here.
The use of fairytale creatures is still pleasing, with characters like Fairy Godmother, Pinocchio and The Gingerbread Man providing welcome distraction. Donkey is much the same, but Puss In Boots is the real star. His innocent face is a treat, and Antonio Banderas does an excellent job of voicing this character.The other vocal stars include Jennifer Saunders, John Cleese, Julie Andrews and Rupert Everett, all of whom seem to relish their chance.
Whilst there are some pleasing aspects, it is in many respects an Ugly Stepsister to its more well-rounded elder sibling Shrek. Disappointing in comparison, it is enjoyable in parts, but not the brilliant film we could have hoped for.Rating: