johnlink ranks SHREK 2 (2004)

You had to know it was coming. After watching the first SHREK a day prior, these other SHREKS are bound to make an appearance on this blog. I am a completist, what can I say.

I watched SHREK 2 (2004) on 5.8.10. It was my second viewing of the film, and first since it debuted in theaters. TRAILER HERE

It seems like SHREK ruled the world for awhile. The first two films were huge successes, and considered rivals for the Pixar throne for a short time. Then the third received a luke warm reception, and now that the fourth is coming out there seems to be a sentiment of ‘Really? Shrek 4? Why?’

But when SHREK 2 came out, it was huge! It was a major event hoping to ride the coattails of the first and launch the green ogre into franchise status. And, for all intents and purposes, it worked.

Firstly, the computer animation is worlds better. You can see that from the opening Prince Charming intro. Strides were made to use the budget wisely, and it wasn’t just the actors who saw that money. There was an absolute re-dedication to producing solid computer animation.

Secondly, even if you wouldn’t exactly say that the stars are out for this one, they certainly went about adding solid voices to the mix. In addition to the initial lineup we get John Cleese, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Saunders and Rupert Everett. The voice work in this film, like the first, is strong. Much of the success of these films has to do with the character work.

The plot was inevitable. Turn Shrek human for awhile and see if he decides to stay that way. The movie certainly is clever. Far-Far-Away, where the film takes place, is a Hollywood/Fairy Tale combo platter. The castle stands in the center of familiar footprints like ‘Farbucks’ and Gap and a mailbox labeled ‘FFAPS’. The movie is one giant and not-so-subtle wink at its audience. Much of this works, while some induces a rolling of the eyes. I laud Pixar for this sort of thing all the time, but they are much more subtle about it. SHREK 2 wants you to see how clever it is being at all times.

The second installment is even more referential than the first. They seem to get a better mix of timelessness (Mission:Impossible, Ghostbusters) and modern. Even some of the modern references, like the LORD OF THE RINGS moment, were of things which turned out to be timeless. Sure they missed on a Ricky Martin cover, but much of the referential part of this film works. They blast you with a lot, and many of them go by unnoticed, but they also work more than they don’t.

Yet, still, at the end of this film I didn’t have a feeling like I would ever rush to watch it again. It was mindless enough, and funny enough to occupy an hour and a half. I don’t feel like I’d be ‘accidentally’ breaking the disk if my soon-to-arrive son decides this is the movie he wants to watch over-and-over-and-0ver again. But I just wasn’t fully absorbed the way I am by (and I hate to bring them up again) a Pixar film.

SCORES

FILM: 4; MOVIE: 6; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 4 (What is this?)

4+6+6+4+0=20

FINAL SCORE: 5

~ by johnlink00 on May 9, 2010.

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