Most helpful critical review
10 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2004
Now I'd just like to say that I LOVED the first Shrek movie. It was brilliant as a story, as a movie, and as parody of fairy tales. It's probably one of my favourite computer-animated films of all time.
This film, despite all of the hype about it, in my opinion falls into the "cash-in-sequel" category. The story is promising; Shrek and Princess Fiona get an official message from her mother and father, who believe her to have married Prince Charming (who we find out comes to the castle after Shrek does to rescue her, only to find that his princess has already been rescued by an Ogre). The first meeting between the ogres and the people of "far, far away" where Fiona's parents live predictably goes awry, but the fairy god mother (the mother of Prince Charming) is determined to put Shrek out of the picture for good so that her narcissistic son can marry Fiona as was the original plan.
The problem with the film isn't with the new characters, which are actually pretty interesting and amusing (although Puss in Boots didn't make sense for me as a character... Shrek is his sworn enemy, and suddenly he begins to help him?), but with all of the old ones. They are simply not put to any good use in this film. Shreck and Fiona are uninteresting simply because they don't have any dramatic flaws; they're completely PERFECT and always do the right thing. The little personality flaws that made them interesting in the previous movie are gone here, leaving behind only boring characters that are simply not funny. Donkey doesn't even have a legitimate reason to be in the movie; he just sort-of follows Shrek around the film and makes his usual wise-ass (pun intended) remarks. The Gingerbread man and other friends of Shrek also somehow manage to make their way into the film, although it is unexplained exactly how they managed to travel to the land of "far, far away" in less than a day when it took Shrek and Fiona many months to get there.
It all just feels too artificial for me. The original Shrek, while being a great comedy, also made sense as a story. Shrek 2 just feels as if the story was cooked up as a reason for the jokes to happen. The "feel-good" ending didn't make sense to me either; I won't give it away, but I couldn't help but think that there is no possible way that Fiona's parents should have been as happy with it as they were.
All said, this is a real publicity-type, give-the-audience-what-they-want type of movie, complete with a cheesy ending that shamelessly rips off the ending to the original Shrek. It apparently worked, because the audiences and critics loved it. I'll bet you, however, that a lot of them are now thinking back on the movie and realizing that it wasn't as good as they originally thought it was (much like Star Wars: Episode 2 is now considered to be a bad movie now that people have had time to reflect on it and realize what a horrible script it had).