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June 01, 2004 - Image 34

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2004-06-01

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michigandaily.com/arts R T

ORIENTATION EDITION 2004 1 8

Gentle giant returns in entertaining sequel

May 24, 2004
By Jiwon Lee
Daily Arts Writer

As with all sequels to successful
movies, "Shrek 2" has the pressure
of living up to its original. With this
in mind, "Shrek 2" stays true to its
predecessor's most beloved traits.
Themes of heart over beauty and
fairy tales with a twist dominate,
along with parodies of popular cul-
ture.
This time, Shrek (Mike Meyers)
and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz)
return from their honeymoon of
well-known film spoofs such as the
"From Here to Eternity" beach scene
with a Shrek twist. When they get
back to the swamp, they are sum-
moned by Fiona's parents for a royal
ball celebrating her marriage to
Prince Charming. King Harold (John
Cleese) and Queen Lillian (Julie
Andrews) still believe Fiona has
been saved from her nightly ogre
curse by Prince Charming (Rupert
Everett) and are totally unaware of
both Fiona and Shrek's green appear-

over again. Fiona's parents struggle
to accept Shrek while he feels alien-
ated by Fiona's elite background. The
plot thickens with a rather sinister
Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders,
"Absolutely Fabulously") and the
arrogant and whiny Prince Charm-
ing. The characters were well-
cast. Everett is convincing as
an over-the-top, snooty
prince and Andrews
reprises her role of
royalkind lady. The
most hyped up new
character, Puss-in-
Boots (Antonio Ban-
deras) is admittedly
very lovable. Clearly
the creators of "Shrek
2" were poking fun at
the idea of a dashing
and brave ... household cat.
While the plot is contrived in
a rather typical format, the writ-
ers have a lot of fun mocking
everything from the standard animal
sidekick to teen idols. Although Dis-
ney movies are definitely still a tar-
get, Hollywood (Far Far Away's
real-life counterpart) is also ridiculed
for its focus on beauty and commer-

cialisi0
Stores like
'Versarchery'
and gated man-
sions for celebrities
like Cinderella are
showcased, as well as
Joan Rivers (voiced by
none other than herself)
commentating on the red
carpet for the royal ball.
"Shrek 2" it is a very
enjoyable movie to watch
with all of its 'inside'
-. jokes and winks at the
audience. There is stan-
dard rehashing of the
first movie's plot, but it
is aware that it is a more
lighthearted derivative
and has fun with it. The
characters' antics are more
outrageous (the Ugl
Stepsister is a transgen-
der bartender voiced by
Larry King), and the spectacle is on
a larger scale (There's a scene
involving fireworks and "Livin' La
Vida Loca"). However, as with most
sequels, the original is meatier and
more focused on its message.

ance. Shrek stubbornly refuses to go Shrek's refusal is Fiona, Shrek and
meet the parents, marking the first Donkey (Eddie Murphy) all leaving
main break from traditional fairy in their carriage.
tales: Marriage doesn't equate to liv- Their journey to Fiona's hometown
ing happily ever after necessarily. In of Far Far Away begins the adventure
sitcom fashion, the next shot after of Shrek having to win the girl all

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