Directed by Andrew Adamson
Starring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Cleese, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Saunders, and Rupert Everett.
Let’s get one thing straight before I begin. I liked Shrek. It was a pretty funny movie. But, I really, really wish that people would just say what it is. Most people like to hold it up as the brilliant, witty satire of fairy tales. But, sit down and watch it. Someone will do something that you see in every fairy tale or animated film, and one of the characters will roll his/her eyes and go, “Oh, like in every fairy tale! Well, stop that!” That, folks, is not satire. That is sarcasm. Shrek is a sarcastic fairy tale. But I liked it. So, when I heard they were doing a sequel, I said, “Oh my. They really don’t need to make that movie.” But I went to see it anyway.
Shrek and Fiona are coming home from their honeymoon, and they find that Donkey has been swamp-sitting. But, before Shrek and Fiona can settle into domestic bliss, a messenger comes. Fiona has been invited to come home to Far, Far Away so her parents can meet her new husband. So, it’s off to Far, Far Away for Shrek, Fiona and Donkey. Naturally, the meeting with the parents doesn’t go so well. Shrek wasn’t Prince Charming, you see. Turns out that Fiona’s father cut a deal with Fairy Godmother and Fiona was betrothed to FG’s son, Prince Charming. So, the king hires Puss in Boots to do away with Shrek and, before you know it, Puss in Boots has sided with Shrek and Donkey, and the three of them are off on a magical quest to try to turn Shrek into Prince Charming. To say anymore would give away the ending.
The humour in Shrek 2 is the kind that you’ll find on reruns of Family Guy or in my beloved Twisted ToyFare Theatre. It’s not so much about writing jokes and crafting witty satire as it is about cramming in as many pop culture references as you can. Don’t get me wrong. When done right, it can be brilliant parody. When not done right, it’s just sad. Shrek 2 is a film where it’s mostly done right. But after a while, it really doesn’t compensate for, you know, good jokes. And yes, Antonio Banderas does steal the show as the voice of Puss in Boots. Too bad all the good scenes are in the commercials. It was mildly amusing, but ultimately, you got the “Been there, done that” vibe from the film.