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Overall Rating
4.27

Awesome53.21%
Worth A Look: 30.77%
Average: 9.62%
Pretty Bad: 2.56%
Total Crap: 3.85%

7 reviews, 114 user ratings


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Shrek 2
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by Rob Gonsalves

"The rare sequel that improves on the original."
4 stars

In 2001, I scolded the original 'Shrek' (which did quite well despite my qualms) for devoting itself more to lampooning fairy tales than to being its own tale. Mighty must be the power I wield over the DreamWorks creative team, because the sequel pretty much leaves fairy tales off its radar.

Shrek 2, which I found immeasurably more entertaining than its parent, gets its laughs from character comedy and reserves its few insider digs for Hollywood's glitz culture. This one isn't a not-so-covert Jeffrey Katzenberg broadside at Disney -- it comes from a purer place, which I can't believe I'm saying about a megabucks summer sequel.

Here, Shrek (Mike Myers, once again getting his Scot on) and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) live happily ever after in the swamp, in blissful muddy squalor, until Fiona's royal parents (Julie Andrews and John Cleese) beckon her to the kingdom of Far Far Away under the pretense of meeting her betrothed. Actually, they'd like her to get with Prince Charming (Rupert Everett), an oafish, self-smitten "hunk" whose kiss has the power to convert her from ogre to human. With the help of his mother the Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders, in the movie's most pitch-perfect casting), Prince Charming schemes to win Fiona's hand by any means necessary.

Shrek 2 touches on some real stuff: Shrek is content to be his ogre-ish self with Fiona until her parents' disapproval enters the picture; she wants him to make an effort to join her family. Who hasn't had that discussion, green horns or no green horns? The King, voiced by Cleese with an effortless mixture of comic disdain and royal ineptitude, is actually divided in his feelings about Shrek, for reasons we eventually learn, and the Queen receives the subtlest character animation, her features showing delicate flickers of exasperation or compassion (her expression when she first meets Shrek is superb, right up there with Anne Bancroft's small facial gymnastics in The Elephant Man upon encountering John Merrick).

Eddie Murphy returns as the comically irritating Donkey, and one's misgivings about a black actor "playing" a dimwitted loudmouth sidekick are quickly overruled by the obvious relish Murphy takes in the role. Donkey, too, acquires shadings of jealousy when Shrek gets a new sidekick -- Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas delivering a timely reminder that he can be funny as hell), a feared cat assassin originally hired to do away with Shrek. Puss is deadly with a sword, even more so with the Margaret Keane eyes he deploys on special occasions. He's the movie's secret weapon, scoring every time. The team of three writers and three directors have a lighter touch with parody this time out, managing to twit The Lord of the Rings, From Here to Eternity, Frankenstein, Peter Pan, and Spider-Man practically before we've even sat down.

Shrek 2 is, dare I say, more hip than the original without particularly trying to be, which I felt was the first movie's problem: Either you are or you aren't. That movie had John Lithgow in fine hammy fettle, but this one has songs by Nick Cave and Tom Waits, and unites Brit-humor behemoths Cleese and Saunders for what I believe is the first time. I can forgive the Joan Rivers cameo, and the overbearing cheesiness of the "Livin' la Vida Loca" finale (so five years ago), and the ubiquity of Shrek's grinning mug on every food product I've seen in the supermarket for the past month.

The first 'Shrek' didn't do proper justice to William Steig's idiosyncratic book, but this loose-limbed and slyly funny sequel, which has as little to do with Steig as its predecessor did, might have pleased him.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9591&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/14/07 13:27:03
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User Comments

8/15/14 Mario is the Best My favourite Shrek movie. 5 stars
10/24/13 Bernie My favorite of the series. 4 stars
3/16/12 Sean It was even better then the first installment and it was the last good Shrek movie. 5 stars
11/23/09 Jeff Wilder Not as novel as Shrek. But almost as funny. 4 stars
10/22/09 PAUL SHORTT LIVELY SEQUEL WITH GREAT AMUSEMENT, SPECTACULAR VISUALS AND A WHOLESOME STORY 4 stars
8/22/09 Zach Classic. Just as good as the first one. 5 stars
12/01/08 Roz The 1stwas gr8 cos it parodied fairy tales. This one parodied pop-cultire references. OLD! 2 stars
10/02/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Movie! 5 stars
10/21/07 mb Lame is a good word for this ... even cheap 2 stars
9/08/07 JamesCole Keep drinking that Kool-Aid, folks. 1 stars
5/09/07 Dark Enchantress great movie! 5 stars
4/28/07 Ryan Emmett This movie, I thought, was better than the first one by a long shot. But good review. 5 stars
4/23/07 David Risser A Classic. Very entertaining/funny. Good Adventure 5 stars
3/20/07 dude better than the original 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega A fairy tale that's worth telling. 5 stars
1/13/07 saad muhammud tired of this fucking movie is so fucking lame 1 stars
8/20/06 Bilal perfect 5 stars
7/13/06 David Cohen Nowhere near as good as the first, but not bad 3 stars
5/22/06 Diane P very good and enjoyable for both adults and children 5 stars
5/14/06 kacy schwieder it was good 3 stars
4/22/06 Jack Number 1 rocks. This one dosen't 3 stars
4/02/06 JRE funniest PG movie ever made 5 stars
3/16/06 casey corcoran it was good 3 stars
3/16/06 casey corcoran it was good 3 stars
1/06/06 JM Synth For the 3rd highest grossing film in US history, not that different from Disney DTV sequels 3 stars
12/28/05 tony not as good as the first one.but still has its classic funny moments 4 stars
10/19/05 Valerie Awesome movie. hilarious. 5 stars
8/15/05 Frenzy still a great movie 5 stars
8/14/05 Renee is Gabby Not as solid as the original, lacks steady interest despite some cool moments 3 stars
6/25/05 Mr Fluffy I'm sure there's a story buried under this top heavy voice talent. Less is more etc. 3 stars
6/03/05 monique i thought it was great-!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/25/05 Quigley the pop culture references are awesome (Starbucks) and Puss rocks. I was in tears laughing 5 stars
4/10/05 Ionicera it tries to hard to be hip, but I liked the characters 4 stars
3/31/05 DM Funny and well-cast, but lacks the original's heart and freshness. 4 stars
3/16/05 Amy Lynch Even better than the first, and not only for children, good adult humor 5 stars
2/26/05 Brandy Great movie! Just as funny every time I see it. 5 stars
2/14/05 Jeanine Price Wonderful! 5 stars
1/18/05 wendy we have watched it about 6 times 5 stars
1/11/05 Stacey Peachfuzz Derivative and totally unoriginal. I don't understand the hype at all. 1 stars
12/07/04 Jim Pretty funny. Give Puss his own movie! 4 stars
12/07/04 Samantha diaz that i think that it was a very funny moive that i enjoyed it. It is a good family movie. 5 stars
12/05/04 Kristina Williams the Cops spoof killed me 5 stars
11/24/04 Rich Funny 5 stars
11/22/04 ad really really funny 5 stars
11/20/04 jess smith it was really funny 5 stars
11/06/04 TCIC Another crap sequel if you look beyond the jokes, the first was better but its still good 3 stars
11/03/04 stacey bradshaw wicked 5 stars
11/02/04 marissa matthews shrek 2 is bout being urself and not trying 2 be some1 ur not if ur not comfortable with it 5 stars
10/05/04 Gareth Spencer first was better 3 stars
9/04/04 Valerie Even better than the first! Very entertaining and cute. 4 stars
8/31/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne A tad better'n 1st, but I'd be little the worse if I'd regarded both with Shrekless abandon 3 stars
8/22/04 Daveman Disappointingly inferior to the original but some of the humour here is ingenious. 4 stars
8/11/04 howdinski as usual dreamworks team come up trumps this is great 5 stars
8/10/04 kelkly paratene i thought the movie was a must see it was really really funny i couldnt stop laughing 5 stars
8/02/04 Movieguy The first one was way better 3 stars
7/27/04 lespacified Was definitely worth seeing, but I much preferred the first one! 4 stars
7/22/04 Whitney Bullard Suprisingly, almost as good as the original. 4 stars
7/18/04 Nobody the kind of movie where you walk out and want to walk right back in and see it again 5 stars
7/17/04 legend My third favorite film this year! A must see for Puss N' Boots. 5 stars
7/17/04 Chlo-mo-bo Omg - Puss In Boots - the whole cinema went 'awwwww' when he looked up with those big eyes! 5 stars
7/15/04 Koitus I went to see it with my g-friend (her 2nd time). I agree -- A. Banderas STOLE the film! 5 stars
7/10/04 jodie Antonio Banderas really made Puss in Boots THE BEST -It rocked especially for a sequal! 5 stars
7/09/04 Littlepurch Wow what a great film! SO much better than overrated original.Saunders steals show by mile! 5 stars
7/08/04 jenny it was funny i liked it but i think white chicks was better 4 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva The Cat was cute 5 stars
7/08/04 Karo,ina Trzmiel 5 stars
7/05/04 Sérgio Almeida Olá Shrek!!! 5 stars
7/02/04 Rachia LOVED it. Thought it wasn't gonna be good, as most sequels ARENT, but it rocked! 5 stars
6/28/04 KENT Better than the first; the hairball scene is worth the price of admission! 4 stars
6/26/04 Arse Poet Alright if you're six. 2 stars
6/23/04 Ray Outstanding 5 stars
6/20/04 M Over-rated and messy. looks good though. 3 stars
6/17/04 Jewelies Great Movie and Soundtrack! DVD Buy Definitely! 5 stars
6/14/04 Rowan Hill Exelent would see over and over again very original 5 stars
6/12/04 Melina puss n' boots "cat nip" & "sad eyes" was the best! 5 stars
6/12/04 Raymond Lee Great movie 5 stars
6/10/04 Mark D. Fulwiler Laugh out loud funny, a bit demented and good hearted 5 stars
6/08/04 Ron Miller Better then the first! 5 stars
6/06/04 SF Absolutely fabulous. All the characters were perfect. Puss hillarious! 5 stars
6/06/04 John Aster Habig forget puss in boots donkey is still the funniest and shrek the most endearing 5 stars
6/05/04 The More You Know cutesy at times, mostly hilarious satire. 4 stars
6/05/04 TJ Great, this was way better then the first. Really funny 5 stars
6/04/04 katsat I don't get it - this movie was a little boring - I was expecting so much more 3 stars
6/03/04 Elizabeth Great voice work by the cast and charming. Love that Puss in Boots! 4 stars
6/03/04 paganchyk Just try to find all the pop culture references! Antonio Banderas is the best part. 5 stars
6/02/04 :) Very Funny, a lot better than I expected 5 stars
6/01/04 y2mckay More of the same, but cute. Has the best "Cops" parody since Reno 911 4 stars
6/01/04 Charlene Javier The soup joke is a killer! 5 stars
6/01/04 whatevr best sequel ever 5 stars
6/01/04 jada more adult humour, funny!! 5 stars
5/31/04 Emperor's New Clothes? Nope. Just a Fat, Ugly, Naked, Guy. Not as endearing as the first but as endearing as those darling eyes of Puss in Boots <3 4 stars
5/30/04 winfield wilson I went with my two sons (13 and 17). A great bonding experience. Hilarious. 5 stars
5/27/04 Will i didn't like the pop music in the first or the second one, but that's minor. 5 stars
5/26/04 Larissa Ione Not as good as the first, but still great! 5 stars
5/25/04 dillweed Craptacular 1 stars
5/24/04 Mike Excellent! As entertaining and yet different as the first 5 stars
5/24/04 mfa willie aames almost as good as the first, not quite, go for a matinee 4 stars
5/24/04 E-Rock Antonio Banderas steals the show, but it's all good! A must see for anyone... 5 stars
5/24/04 Movie Expert The first one was great this one is very lame and poorly written. 2 stars
5/24/04 Lord Jiggy Very funnny, but overused songs as emotional bridges. Puss in Boots kills. 4 stars
5/24/04 malcolm i loved the pepper spray & "white bronco" reference 4 stars
5/24/04 Messenger Puppet uninspired, derivative tripe 1 stars
5/23/04 Mazz Why aren't you in line for it right now? Huh? 5 stars
5/22/04 BrianWilly It's that awesome. Seriously. Go see it now. 5 stars
5/21/04 ajay lots of laughs and a TON of movie references... 4 stars
5/21/04 Titus This was easily as good as the first. I'm still laughing. 5 stars
5/21/04 Nick Comes up a little short compared to the original, which says alot given the genius of Shrek 4 stars
5/21/04 Kerry V. Where were the laughs we had in the first one? This one was a waste of time! 1 stars
5/20/04 Ajax Not as fresh as the first one, but still huge fun. 4 stars
5/20/04 Wolf 2.5 *'s. Has some good laughs, but you can TOTALLY tell they only did this for the money. 3 stars
5/20/04 Jeff S Puss in Boots made this movie. Funniest animated character ever. 4 stars
5/20/04 Blakers a great film 5 stars
5/20/04 Superdave better than the first 5 stars
5/20/04 Christina Pray for mercy from Puss-In-Boots!!!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-May-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 05-Nov-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  17-Jun-2004




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