With all the hype surrounding the DreamWorks animation Shrek, I was expecting the funniest film I have seen in ages; I wasn't disappointed but neither did I leave the cinema completely satisfied. Shrek is original but at the same time a very predictable movie.
The animation is Excellent, the humour intelligent, but the film lacks any real imagination and follows too much convention, It could have been so much more.
Shrek is big, ugly, smelly, green ogre who lives in a swamp, he lives happily there in his own company.
Lord Farquaad is the man in charge of the town of Duloc, he longs to be a king, so sets about to find the legendary fairly tale magic mirror (Mirror Mirror on the wall) to make his dreams come true.In order to find the mirroe he rounds up all the fairy tale characters and banishes them to Shrek's swamp.
Shrek doesn't like this invasion and makes his way to the palace. To confront Lord Farquaad
When the Mirror on the wall tells Farqaad that to have the finest kingdom in all the land he must first become a king and marry a princess, he is given the choice of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White or Princess Fiona, He chooses Fiona.
There is a slight hitch, Princess Fiona lives in castle guarded by a very fierce dragon, he must rescue the damsel in distress and make her his wife.
Too short, too idle and too self absorbed to rescue her himself, Farquaad orders a WWF style fight to take place, the winner will claim the honour of being the Princess's rescuer.
When Shrek enters the courtyard mid battle followed by his new pal an exiled Donkey, , they 'Clothes Line' and 'Pile Drive' some soldiers and claim the dubious pleasure of rescuing Fiona, in return, Shrek will get his swamp back!
Shrek works on many levels and is equally pleasurable to both an adult and child audience, there are lots of toilet humour jokes for the children and more political jokes for the adults.
The movie contains many parodies of other films and acknowledges every fairly tale character I can remember. The removal of the Disney character is very tongue in cheek made by the main Disney rival, DreamWorks. Disney execs are rumoured not to be too pleased to witness well established and well loved characters being dumped in a swamp in favour of a CGI animated Ogre!!
The Gingerbread man and the three blind mice are the best of the ensemble cast, very funny scenes featuring both. The dragon and the donkey scenes are also wicked.
Eddie Murphy is excellent as Donkey. Certainly having the funniest lives of the film. Mike Myers has a slightly shakey Scottish accent and Cameron Diaz is super as the cocky not quite right princess. The whole of the Shrek story has the narrative, including the happy ending, of the much loved fairy tale, but the characters are all slightly off beat and not quite what you expect- I like that twist
All in all Shrek is a very clever, funny and aesthetically pleasing movie, but I cant helping feeling it could have been better