Sunday, May 23, 2004

Notes on Shrek 2 

Shrek 2 is like Osama in reverse. It starts off being really bad, and then rights itself and gets on track.

The first, oh, third of it is just awful. Everything seems so awkward, like these animated characters are actors with no chemistry, or something. It's like the actors are panicking inside over how bad the movie is at that point. Maybe I'm projecting. In any case, it's just not funny. All the jokes fall flat, and the characters seem off, as if it is a sitcom where a character is suddenly played by a new actor or something. It was during this time that I realized this movie wouldn't have anything as sweet as the story of Fiona and Shrek in the first one. It just didn't have what it takes, and I was right.

However, a third of the way through, about the time when you first see Puss-in-Boots, it gets really hilarious anyways. The laughing that broke out at this scene was like a sigh of relief for the audience. And, with that, it was over the hump.

The love story that develops is really lame. Since Shrek and Fiona married at the end of the first one, that kinda limits their options for romantic tension, but obviously, there has to be some doubt about the future of their relationship. It's pretty forced, but if you don't think about it too hard, it feels OK. In fact, not thinking about things too hard is pretty much required. A (lame) gag is made at the beginning about how long it takes to go to the land of Far Far Away, yet later in the movie, Shrek's friends manage to get there in just a few hours, it seems.

Another thing that sucked was the fact that Shrek 2 is a musical. Totally forgettable music and numbers, but it's definitely there. I guess it helps fills up some of those vast oceans of time that they had to fill.

The new character, Puss-in-Boots, pretty much steals the show (I'm amazed Antonio Banderas was able to do some of those lines without cracking up; must have taken lots of tries). Which is kind of a shame, because Donkey had filled that roll in the first movie, and now I can't remember a single funny thing he did in this one, though I do remember a lot of dumb gags that weren't funny. Most of them involve Donkey singing contemporary songs.

It's very funny, but it isn't anywhere near the grand-slam that Shrek was, with excellence across all the categories.

(22:38:08) Shawn: how many babylons?
(22:39:30) Me: How many Babylons is the max?
(22:40:50) Shawn: I think it was five on the self-made
(22:41:43) Me: Hm. Then its about a 3 babylons, aside from how funny it is. However, considering the funniness, it gets edged up to 4.
(22:42:00) Shawn: that's a very SMC rating
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