June 11, 2007
Disclaimer: I'm an ardent fan of animation movies with special love for the Ogre series.
Movie critics never get as much excited as writing review of the sequels of franchise. Even before watching the movie they can pen "Oh, they are whoring themselves out for for the box office consideration" lament. They derive monstrous pleasure as they lampoon these movies. Never mind, the spectacular disasters churned by the likes of Khalid Mohammad.
Blame the filmmakers of being materialistic, but then who is not. If they have toiled hard for the first movie, it is perfectly reasonable to print more money with the sequel having same formula. The very reason a sequel exists because the first movie has received warm welcome at box office (and sometimes by critics.) As an audience I have my expectations set. All I want from the film is the same experience as earlier movie. Minor problem is in the second movie there is very little to no novelty factor, which is fine. Getting people love an ugly green ogre is a stunt which cannot be pulled twice. (Same applies to "Matrix" where the first movie sets bar so high, that film-makers are at their wits' end just to meet that second time. I haven't seen many sequel movies, but the only exceptions to this rule are "Godfather" and "Terminator." )
So, I was looking for the same humour, mildly PG rated than the squeaky clean from Pixar's, great animation from Shrek 3. DreamWorks guys do this quite well. The quality of animation is getting so good that I wonder if there is any future for second-rate actors at all. (The voice will be provided by A-stars, so you need A-stars.) The costumes of most of the important characters were as good as the real ones. Prince Charming, the villain of the story, has been showered with special attention, with the fairy-tale princesses coming close second. The facial expressions are as impeccable as they were in earlier movies. It's shame these characters can't compete in the "Best (Supporting) Actor Male/Female" categories. Even they create a whole new 20-second sequences for Gingy.
The story builds seamlessly where it was left last time. There are no contrived situations under the garb of cinematic liberty, though I feel the addition of "three superhot princesses" left little space for existing characters, though "dronkeys" add the fun element. I would have personally loved more of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and Puss in boot. The humour has some adult appeal - especially when Shrek gets the nightmares of fatherhood. The voice overs by the stars is impeccable.
Net, net, 8/10 for the DreamWorks gang. May the box-office be with you.
While I look forward to 4th in the series, people are already speculating titles of 115th Shrek movie.
Image taken from IMDB.