Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Shrek 2 (DVD) (2004)

I assume you’re up to date with the premise of the original Shrek movie, no? Well, just to recap, the Shrek franchise takes your familiar fairy tales and gives them a spin by overturning the genre, inverting stereotypes, and injecting a strong dose of pop culture references. And what you get is an animation that plays like a subversive comedy for adults, but has the CGI design, action sequences that will appeal to children.

Now, when we last watched Shrek, the unfriendly green ogre managed to save Princess Fiona from the dragon and the castle and all that jazz, wins her hand, and undoes the curse that has been afflicted her for years. Now, in Shrek 2, it’s time for the newlyweds to meet the bride’s parents, who rule the kingdom of Far Far Away. Needless to say, Fiona’s parents aren’t quite enamoured of their daughter marrying an ogre, much less becoming one, and desperate measures are enacted by the King (John Cleese) to salvage the situation – a device that introduces more wacky characters into the Shrek series such as the Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders from Ab Fab as a celebrity godmother!), the self-absorbed Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) whom Fiona was actually meant to marry, and Puss in Boots, the king’s assassin and Shrek’s new hilarious talking animal sidekick.

Normally, movie trilogies tend to from the law of diminishing returns, but the Dreamworks team appears to stave off the decline by sticking true to their original subversive formula and amping the pop culture satire here – if you though Disney icons were skewered by Shrek 1, wait till you see what the Dreamworks team do to Hollywood and popular TV!

First published at incinemas on 22 May 2007

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