Monday, May 21, 2007


Animated cartoon

Rupert Everett: Prince Charming, a failed stage actor
Mike Myers: our hero Shrek
Cameron Diaz: his wife Princess Fiona
Eddie Murphy: Donkey, Shrek’s sidekick
Antonio Banderas: Shrek’s other buddy Puss in Boots
John Cleese: the frog King Harold, ruler of Far Far Away
Julie Andrews: Queen Lillian
Justin Timberlake: Arthur (aka Artie) Fiona's half-brother (or cousin?)

Sequels are Hollywood’s way of building the next version that is slightly different from, but based closely on the original. The concept of movie sequels is nothing new: the first car produced by the Ford Motor Company was the Model A in 1903 and the following year they came out with the next version, an upscale touring car called the Model B. So introducing a “line extension” of the original has been around a long time.

However the problem with movie sequels is twofold: they tend to suffer from déja vu (characters, plot etc) and by their very nature, they lack originality. So comparing a sequel to the original means it has two strikes against it even before beginning to look at it strictly on its own merit.

So despite the fact it’s tempting to so, I would rather not judge this movie as a sequel. Taken instead simply as a movie about the adventures of a well-known character, it has a lot going for it.

For starters, it is entertaining: there are a lot of amusing moments, from clever one-liners, silly sight-gags, mild “crude” jokes and old fashioned slapstick. The story unfolds with lots of action. Although some of the slower sections (and musical renditions) could be snipped a bit, the movie is not overlong.

There are some adult-only-jokes (a quick reference to Hooters for example) but not that many.

From a technical point-of-view this is far and away the best computer generated movie ever. The realism is remarkable and most noticeable in the rendering of water, the shadows that follow the contour lines of the undulating background, the textures of fur and velvet, the facial expressions (particularly of Artie) and every stitch in Shrek's ratty old sweater.

for some crude humor, suggestive content (? … guess I missed that part) and swashbuckling action.

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