Mark Reviews Movies


3  Stars (out of 4)

Director: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon

Cast: The voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Jennifer Saunders

MPAA Rating:   (for some crude humor, a brief substance reference and some suggestive content)

Running Time: 1:32

Release Date: 5/19/04

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Capsule review by Mark Dujsik

One couldn't ask for a better sequel than Shrek 2. It takes the original's closed-ended finale, formula, and imagination and opens it up for a similar but somehow whole new look at the material. It's hard to imagine how the story of the original could continue, but the screenplay by Andrew Adamson, Joe Stillman, J. David Stem, and David N. Weiss (working off the book by William Steig) somehow blends seamlessly into its predecessor. When we last left our ogre hero Shrek (voice of Mike Myers), he was just married to the beautiful-princess-turned-ogre Fiona (voice of Cameron Diaz). They're honeymoon ends quickly when the couple and Shrek's loyal, loud-mouth sidekick Donkey (voice of Eddie Murphy) head off to the land of Far, Far Away (it is, as its name implies, far, far away) to meet Fiona's parents (voices of Julie Andrews and John Cleese).. There are other complications in the form of Fiona's Fairy Godmother (voice of Jennifer Saunders) and her son the not-so-charming Prince Charming (voice of Rupert Everett), who was supposed to rescue and marry Fiona. The film is brighter and more colorful than the original, with a wider assortment of characters and more pop culture references and fairy tale variations. Its humor is still aimed more at adults, with its occasional diabolical riffs (The Little Mermaid is thrown to the sharks by a jealous Fiona) and homages (Fiona's ring flies in the air and lands on her finger, a la The Lord of the Rings), and the film finds a more specific moral to its characters by the end. There's a fun romp through the Fairy Godmother's factory of spells, and the climax, featuring a gigantic gingerbread man storming a castle set to "Holding Out for a Hero," is even more fun. The best addition, though, is Puss in Boots (voice of Antonio Banderas), an assassin who becomes another sidekick and gives Donkey a run for his money.

Copyright 2007 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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