“Shrek 2”

MOVIE REVIEW: “Shrek 2” is voiced by Mike Meyers (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Wayne’s World), Eddie Murphy (Coming to America, The Nutty Professor [1996]), Cameron Diaz (There’s Something About Mary, Knight and Day), Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water), Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins [1964]), John Cleese (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Fish Called Wanda), Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Happy Prince), and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Famous [TV series], Minions). It is directed by Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Mr. Pip), Kelly Asbury (Gnomeo & Juliet, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron), and Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs. Aliens, The Addams Family [2019]), with Adamson writing the screenplay with Joe Stillman (Planet 51, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America), J. David Stem (Are We There Yet?, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), and David N. Weiss (The Rugrats Movie, The Smurfs [2011]).

Having recently wed, Shrek (Meyers) and Fiona (Diaz) are called to Far Far Away to see Fiona’s parents and obtain blessing for their marriage. Only issue is, Fiona’s parents believe her to have been saved by Prince Charming, not an ogre.

What better way to close out November than to dust the cobwebs off a childhood classic? It’s absolutely insane to think that this flick was released eighteen years ago (with the original “Shrek” going on twenty-one years). Really makes me feel old…

I believe my friend put it best when he told me “Shrek 2 is by no means a cinematic masterpiece… but it also is.” Anyone who grew up in the early 2000’s and was allowed to watch this film would agree: “Shrek 2” is one of the most hilarious, brilliantly crafted animated movies of all time. And it seems idiotic to declare this – being how it is a sequel and a comedy centered around an ogre – but it’s pretty undeniable. Upon recent viewing, I laughed and grinned ear-to-ear at the many iconic moments that brought me joy as a child; they hold up, and beyond that, it was simply a well-done film.

Structurally, “Shrek 2” hits all the beats. While fairly predictable, the pay-offs the story sets up are amazing. We are introduced to new, fun characters, and given a backdrop that pokes fun at Hollywood in many delicious ways. There’s so much to take in with this tale, as the jokes are unceasing and the storyline keeps you on your toes. Once again, we are thrust into an adventure of wit, spectacle, and lunacy. Much like the first outing, but this installment is more realized; the writers, directors, and animators take what was championed in the first “Shrek” and amplified it to great result. What’s even better is you can tell they had fun making this. The humor is iconic to older DreamWorks flicks: quippy, off-the-cuff, and cleverly stupid. I love it.

Our ragtag group returns to this outing. Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy are phenomenal, with voices that effortlessly breathe life into the roles they play. Joining them this go-around are Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots), John Cleese (the King), Julie Andrews (the Queen), Rupert Everett (Prince Charming), and Jennifer Saunders (Fairy Godmother). Everyone creates an atmosphere of fun and entertainment. Banderas especially, as his role of Puss in Boots is such a highlight. No one would’ve thought Shrek and Donkey (Murphy) could be a trio, and in walked a cat who wears boots. Odd, but funny. The same could be applied to a lot of moments within this narrative. Saunders’ character of Fairy Godmother is a fantastic villain, mainly because she’s almost always winning throughout the entire piece. And her son Prince Charming creates a wonderful foil.

From beginning to end, this story excites and entices. While I am sure that nostalgia plays a key part in my adoration of the movie, the quality of the narrative is arguably solid. There is a strong theme of sacrificial love, tied into what it is like to truly love someone. Shrek and Fiona’s tale warms the heart, and the secondary characters add so much to the mix (particularly that of the King). Sure, we may have a slight repackaging of what the original picture did (the whole thing of not judging a book by its cover), but “Shrek 2” varies enough to stand on its own. Chuck in some brilliant jokes and parodies, coupled with iconic characters and amazing song choices, and you’ve got something worth sharing with the family.

You may be flabergasted at the score I give this one, but it would be a crime to give it any less of a score. To me, stupid comedy can be accomplished cleverly, and incorporated into a serious theme when done right (case in point, “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”). “Shrek 2” nails this on the head, offering an experience that I cherish to this day. If you have not seen it and are a fan of both comedy and animation, I highly recommend it. FINAL SCORE: 97%= Juicy Popcorn

This movie has been inducted into The Juicy Hall of Fame.

Here is the trailer:

One response to ““Shrek 2”

  1. Pingback: November Movie Rankings | Juicy Reviews·

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