In the original film I thought Shrek’s performance was impressive. Yet occasionally (notably when called upon to display emotions beyond anger, sadness and fear) he seemed to struggle with the role. In Shrek 2 however he produces a far more mature performance.
Princess Fiona also seems to have blossomed as an actress, although it must have been a gruelling schedule that saw her regain the physical fitness that she displayed in the original film. Still this has to be a role that every actress in Hollywood would surely have literally done anything in order to play.
Donkey turns in another masterly performance, it’s amazing that such a talented actor is so strongly typecast and can only secure sidekick roles. But it’s confirmed that he’ll have an executive producer credit for his next film The Incredible Shrinking Donkey. He is of course also hotly tipped to take his first lead role.
One of the new actors to really make his mark on this film of course is Puss in Boots, after several roles in pseudo-western films and a turn as Zorro he was clearly purrfect for this part and he really got his claws into the character. As an actor his ability to evoke a variety of emotions from the audience, apparently effortlessly, is very impressive.
Andrew Adamson’s direction is very tight and often inventive. And although the pace in the first 30 minutes does seem to lag it picks up momentum for an excellent final hour, which is when most of the action occurs.
The soundtrack includes popular songs such as Holding out for a Hero and Livin’ La Vida Loca. But whilst they are well known I didn’t feel that they were as appropriate to the film as the songs from the original were for that particular film. However the handful of movie spoofs (Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, Ghostbusters and Alien) were welcome comic additions.
Overall I didn’t enjoy it as much as the original, but it’s still a fine film for children and adults alike and I’m sure it’ll keep fans, old and new, happy.
4 stars out of 5