luxfx (luxfx) wrote in jackleg,

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Shrek 2

Well, it's not so good. I don't recommend it. Now, I might not be the best one to say that since I never loved the first one. Not that I don't enjoy it when I sit in front of it and watch it. Hey, it's funny, it's touching. But as somebody from Ain't It Cool put's pure teflon. It just doesn't stick to you. So I never have this driving urge to see it.

With Shrek 2, it was actually dissappointing enough to avoid seeing it again. Remember how Men in Black was terrific, and MiB2 made you wish you had something to drink (or a lot to drink) before watching it? (if you hadn't, that is....) Sigh. Shrek 2 is worse.

The first act was one of the worst first acts of any movie I've seen. Fortunately, it got better. But it was still so very very bad. It felt exactly like a TV sitcom. I could almost hear a laugh-track. Yuck! It was literally doing a "who's going to come through the front door now?" type plot.

But while it got better, it never got good. I laughed once. I cringed a lot. The one funny part was when Donkey turned into a stallion and said, "Look at me! I can neeeeiiigh, and I can count!" I also liked two of the songs, one by Tom Waits and one by Nick Cave. Both sung by Captain Hook, who played the piano in the bar.

But the really desperately wrong problem with the movie was that it was completely lacking in originality. The plot was bare-bones, loosely constructed around an unending series of fairy tale references. There was actually three places in the movie where they didn't even both incorporating the references into the movie -- they just listed names of fairy tale characters. It felt like the scene in Hot Shots Part Deux with the body-count-meter clicks away on the bottom of the screen. One scene was during the drive to the castle of the Kingdom of Far, Far Away, and they passed all the Rodeo Drive style mansions of famous fairy tale stars. Another was as the Fairy Godmother ticked off the list of Fairy Tale love stories that didn't contain ogres. And another was as fairy tales creatures walked down the red carpet to the ball as Joan Rivers commented on their costumes.

Which brings me to another point. Since Shrek 2 was more of a long string of literary references instead of a movie on its own right, it actually felt more like an Oscar show number. Just....sad.

The characters lacked any development at all. Shrek ended up yelling half of his lines, even when it wasn't necessary at all, apparently just because he was an Ogre. Hmm, did we somehow forget the character development from the first movie? Hmm? The Puss-in-boots character was just inexplicable. He was hired to kill Shrek -- but suddenly in the middle of a fight with Shrek gets a hairball and decides he owes his life to Shrek. Yes, it made that much sense!

The visuals were pretty poor, too. The fairy godmother was well designed, but her facial features (as with everybody's) was poorly animated. The 'human' version of shrek was on the other end of the spectrum, and was very poorly designed. He looked like a cross between 'Ogre' Shrek and the beach-dork Brendan Frasier character from Bedazzled. At least the movie producers were equally unimpressed by the 'human' Shrek -- because they inserted an entire scene devoted to random women oo-ing and aah-ing over him in human form. At last I figured out that, "Oh! He must be considered handsome in this world. Who knew!"

For the most part, the animation was horrendous. I mentioned the poor facial animation for the fairy godmother already, and most characters had similar flaws. Shrek, Donkey, and human Fiona had decent, but not great, facial animation. I'm pretty certain the reason for this was that the animators already had the facials setups from the first movie on hand. But the other characters were just bad, bad, bad. There was a general problem with lip synching, and minor characters walked like they were marionettes.

Don't waste your money. If somebody gives you a ticket, don't waste your time. I won't give this a zero out of five because at least it didn't resort to gross out humor. It just has no redeeming qualities.

1 / 5 stars
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