Tardy Critic’s review published on Letterboxd:
Shrek! It was a good movie. It had Billy Murray in it as the comedic relief. It had a fun story and interesting characters. There was a good soundtrack. The plot was solid and closed ended. Why would you need a sequel? Because $441,226,247. That’s why.
*sigh* I guess I should probably re-watch the film before I review it.
Okay, I’m back.
AH! I remember now. This is the “Accidentally in Love” movie!
There is a reason that Shrek 2 did so well in theaters. It’s funny. It’s fast. It references practically everything: parodies, plugs, and allusions to half a dozen or more different films, tv shows, songs, and popular brands. Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid, Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man, Peter Pan, Hawaii Five-0, and that’s just the first five minutes.
Yet, for all their blatancy, some of the humor is subtle. This stems from the speed, rapidity, and obscurity of many of the one liners, which most people might not catch on their first or even second viewing. There’s simply just too much to take in all at once, especially for those who take a little reflection to notice what’s actually going on.
One of my favorite moments was when the terrified customers of Farbucks Coffee (Starbucks Coffee) run across the street and into another Farbucks Coffee. (Of course, making fun of how ubiquitous Starbucks can be in places like New York City.)
The plot of the film is actually pretty solid and has a few nice twists in it. While some of the aspects of the film might feel a little childish (What? A kids movie acting childish!?!?) There’s a good deal of foreshadowing as well, which means that Shrek 2 actually has a fair amount of re-watch value.
“Solid plot,” you cry. “I’ll be the judge of that! What is it?”
Well, a CGI version of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, voiced by Rupert Everett, and referred to as Prince Charming, storms the dragon’s castle to rescue the ogre-princess, only to find out she is gone. Princess Fiona, it turns out, was saved in the last movie by Shrek and the newly wed couple is now headed to her parent’s castle in Far Far Away to receive her parent’s blessing. Marital strife mixed with antagonistic plans gone awry lead Shrek and his Donkey into the woods where they meet an adorable kitty cat who is also an assassin.
I should stop right there to mention Puss in Boots. Puss in Boots really stole the show. He even got his own spin-off movie in 2011. Voiced by Antonio Banderas, an actor who played Zorro in 1998, it’s quite clear who the cat is based off. (Hint: It’s Zorro.)
I have to say, while most the animation was really good, it’s amazing how far things have come in the last 10 years. Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks have made massive strides with complex texture maps, hair and fur creation tools, and liquid dynamics. A cartoon movie doesn’t necessarily need these things, or at least needn’t rely on them, but when you compare the animation of Shrek to Tangled, Brave, or Monsters University, things have clearly gotten much better.
By now, if you haven’t seen Shrek 2, you’re missing out. Definitely a good flick for a movie night with your close friends or family. Even if they’ve seen it, they’ll certainly enjoy watching it again, and will likely pick up on some of those little things they may have missed. Make this movie part of your happily ever after as it takes you Far Far Away.
Review by Phil Wels