Shrek 2 (2004) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
13May/110

Shrek 2 (2004)

I will admit that I am a Pixar fanboy.  I have a Pixar shirt, have seen all of their movies in the theatres and compare every animated film against theirs.  This is why I used to think that I really didn’t like or understand the appeal of Shrek 2.Part of me thought it was because it was so popular and huge that I resented it for taking some prestige away from my Pixar films.  So with an open mind I tried again to watch Shrek 2 without my bias. I then realized something I didn’t like the film because it was a bad film.

Movies are a lot like food and many have expiration dates.  It is very rare that a film avoids the mark of father time.  Movies like Wizard of Oz, Singing in the Rain and The Godfather are of a rare breed where they seem as appealing and fresh as they did the day they were released.  More often than not the years and decades wear on a film and the movie seems like a relic of its era.  That is the reason that calling a film “timeless” is one of the highest compliments you can give a film. Sometimes it is the era that it is made is what dates it (To Live in Die in LA I am looking at you and all your neon washed glory) and sometimes when you strip the hype away look at a film with fresh eyes it becomes noticeable that the film wasn’t that good to start with.

To me this is the best way to describe Shrek 2, which is a film that rests on the goodwill of the first film and does nothing new.  The film is filled with callbacks to the first film, pop culture references that would not be out of place in something like Disaster Movie and the voice actors chewing the scenery.  Yet the film played throughout the summer of 2004 and DESTROYED everything in its way.  It out grossed the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed Spider-Man 2, the best Harry Potter movie (Prisoner of Azkaban) and The Bourne Supremacy.  I worked at a movie theatre that summer and I saw firsthand how well the movie did because week after week after week people kept coming to see that film in droves.

In a way working at the movie theatre helped me realize that the film had a quicker expiration date than milk because I watched bits and pieces of it over and over again that summer while doing theatre checks and running projection.  The first time I saw the film I enjoyed it and thought it was funny.  Antonio Banderas as Puss-n-Boots was hilarious and a great addition to the film and if you would have asked me the night I saw the film I would have recommended it without a second thought.  Then the next day when I was back at work I overheard others raving about the film and I could not get as excited about the film as them.  I didn’t know why but even at that time I thought people liked the film a bit too much.  I enjoyed it but didn’t think it was the funniest film of the century like some were claiming.  Then I would go into the theatre and I could start seeing its flaws, its lazy writing (ooh how original a Matrix joke) and the overall shoddiness of the film but I would hear people laughing.  Not just laughing but loud, boisterous laughing and I just wanted to scream to the people “it isn’t that funny.”

The best thing (by far) about the movie.

So by the end of the summer the movie thankfully was gone and I didn’t think about the film for around 6-7 years other than to marvel at how much money that film really did make. Since I didn’t give the movie much thought I rewatched it with fresh eyes and the only good thing I could take out of the film was Puss-N-Boots, who I still find an enjoyable character.    The jokes are terribly dated now, the character of Shrek is really unappealing and horribly disgusting which adds a look to most of the film and Mike Meyers become really hard on the nerves.  Instead of being clever and poking fun at Disney like the first film did Shrek 2 thinks that a Starbucks joke and naming stores in Far Away Land like Baskin Robinhood is the height of wit.  Yet the worst thing is all of the parodies in the film there were so many that it became ridiculous and after awhile I stopped writing them all down. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The upside down kiss from Spiderman
  • Puss-in-Boots acts like Zorro (and is voiced by one of the many actors who have played Zorro)
  • The Gingerbread Man is like the Staypuff Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.
  • The famous beach kiss scene from Here to Eternity which has been parodied before in Airplane, The Simpsons and
  • The Seven Year itch, which famous dress on the grate scene is parodied by Fiona.
  • Flashdance famous dance scene done by Donkey
  • Pinocchio is hovering above the floor with his strings like Tom Cruise from Mission: Impossible

Not only are these scenes not that original, most have been parodied often and most times better.

 

 

How I feel when people call this a good movie.

 

Shrek 2 does not work on me in the least.  I don’t find it funny and I find a lot of the film uninspired.  Everyone has their own sense of humor and this is one place where I must differ from the popular opinion because many people still hold this film in high esteem. I would like to see a lot of people that do love this film to watch it again.  I think they would see that it has aged worse than most films from that period.  If they don’t see that it would be one area where we would have to agree to disagree because to put it bluntly Shrek is shit.

Posted by Ryan

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