Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Meeting his new in-laws - King Harold (John Cleese) and Queen Lilian (Julie Andrews) of Far Far Away - for the first time, grumpy ogre Shrek (Mike Myers) makes a poor impression, leading Harold to hire bounty hunter Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) to kill Shrek, which sparks off an unforgettable, life-changing adventure for Shrek, Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss.
The film boasts a rich screenplay with lots of excellent humour, which is often farcical in nature thanks to the fast pace and wonderfully over the top creation of it; much verbal humour comes from Donkey, who is just as excitable as ever, and now has a very well written rivalry with Puss for the role of "annoying talking animal", their constant bickering delivered superbly by Murphy and Banderas. The screenplay is also quite deep and thought-provoking. It is not 100% original, due to a key theme being love's true form - the major theme of the 2001 original. However, the idea of giving up on the lifestyle you adore for the woman you love - which here sees Shrek deciding he is happy to become human for Fiona - is new and really makes you think of what true love looks like. It is a deep and well written part of the screenplay, which shows a whole new emotional side to Shrek we previously couldn't imagine, and provides some really moving moments.
As well as wonderful comedy and deep meaning, the screenplay also introduces some excellent new characters to the franchise. As mentioned there is Banderas's superb Puss in Boots. There is also a terrific antagonist in the form of Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), who is deliciously cold and sadistic, which hilariously contrasts the initially sickly sweet impression the character gives in her first scene, and Saunders brings great energy and enthusiasm to this role, making Godmother such a fun character to watch. Just as fun and memorable is her son, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett). Everett makes Charming such a sly character, who is deliciously camp and hilariously feminine, as well as a real Mummy's Boy, so it is a wonderful twist when he shows his mean, tough side.
Ultimately, the strongest element of this film is the beautiful animation. Filled with a lot of very intricate detail, the animation brings bright, vibrant life to the wonderfully voiced characters, as well as sharp boldness and great majesty to Far Far Away. Duloc was grand in the original, but comparing it to Far Far Away is like comparing Kansas to the Emerald City when watching The Wizard of Oz (1939). In short the animation is bright, colourful, bold and dazzling, and when added to the film's other strong elements this is the third best animated sequel to date after Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 2 (1999). A must watch and one of DreamWorks's greatest animations!
Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Saunders, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, Conrad Vernon, Cody Cameron, Aron Warner, Christopher Knights, Chris Miller.
Oscar nominations: Best Animated Feature (Andrew Adamson), Best Original Song (Accidentally in Love - Adam Duritz, Charles Gillingham, Jim Bogios, David Immergluck, Matthew Malley, David Bryson, Dan Vickrey).