Who's big, green-skinned, and suffers from
chronic flatulence? That's right, it's Julie Andrews! And
she's featured as a voice in the new Shrek film, called (oddly
enough) Shrek 2.
Do you like pop culture references? If
so, Shrek 2 is for you. It's chock full 'o references.
Almost everything is parodied or referenced, including "COPS",
"Hawaii 5-0", "Sanford and Son", Lord of the Rings, Spiderman,
Alien, Joan Rivers, Ricky Martin, and many others.
Because of the Masked Reviewer's "no spoiler" policy, nothing will be
given away about the plot. In fact, the Masked Reviewer won't even
mention all of the voices, just in case you like to guess. Well,
the Masked Reviewer already mentioned Julie Andrews, but other than
that, you're on your own. Suffice it to say that almost all of the
original voices have returned for the sequel. That is, of course,
except for John Lithgow, who played Lord Farquaad. He's not in
Shrek 2, which is too bad. The Masked Reviewer will miss his
awful fake British accent, last heard in Cliffhanger.
The jokes in this movie try to reach people at every level, from hip
insider references to fart jokes. Parents who don't want their
kids exposed to burping and farting (who would want to expose kids to
that? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!) might find Shrek 2 in bad
taste, but farting and burping seem to be cutting edge humor for kids
these days. In the Masked Reviewer's day, burp and fart jokes were
taboo, but thanks to controversial children's show pioneers, farts and
burps are now mainstream in family entertainment. Or, maybe the
thanks should go to high fiber diets. Either way.
There are some greatly funny lines in the movie, and some excellent
visuals. The image of Puss in Boots trying to look sad and cute is
hilarious. It's not often that a sight gag in a kid's movie makes
the Masked Reviewer laugh, but this film had several good moments.
(By the way, has anyone made a porno yet called "Puss N' Butts"?
Please send royalty checks to the Masked Reviewer)
The music is almost all pop, or pop-past. Children and adults
will both recognize much of the music, none of it is pop right now, but
it was pop. Popped? Who knows. There should be terms
for these things. Any way, depending on your musical tastes,
you're likely to enjoy (or remember fondly) at least a few of the tunes
used in the movie. And, the film features musical numbers, and how
could you not like that?
Before the film was a preview for Shark Tale, another upcoming
animated feature. The quality of the graphics and animation
in Shrek 2 are far superior, and better than the first Shrek.
Animation fans (computer generated...the animation, not the fans) will
definitely want to check it out.
The voice acting is good across the board, though Eddie Murphy tries
the hardest and has the most energy. Strangely, the character that
had the least going on of anyone was Shrek himself. Mike Meyers
wasn't bad, but he didn't have very many funny lines. He wound up
being the straight-man (or, straight-ogre). That's okay, though,
the supporting characters were super and farted less.
Speaking of voice acting, make sure you check out the credits to see
who voiced the Ugly Stepsister. Good casting. And, not only
that, you'll want to see the end credits; many people left immediately
and missed an extra 30 seconds of epilogue. It wasn't the biggest
joke in the movie, but you should get your ten bucks' worth.
It's a kids' movie, sure, but it's good fun with plenty of
entertainment for adults, too. If you have to take a kid to a
movie, this is the clear choice. Everyone will be happy. By
the way, in addition to the original Shrek, there's a
Shrek 3D available on DVD.
Expectation from the Title: The sequel to the horror knock-off
of Scream that was supposed to be called Shriek, but the
filmmakers didn't turn on their spell check.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Shrek looks good in green.
The Pros: Funny, nice sight gags and pop culture references,,
good for kids and adults, great animation.
The Cons: The theater will be full of screaming kids. At
times, the pop culture references seem a bit too heavy handed.