Shrek 2 (2004)
Dir: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Ashbury, Conrad Vernon
Voice Cast – Mike Myres, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Christie, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Jennifer Saunders.
Setting up not long after the events of the first movie, now sees our loveable ogre Shrek (Myres) married to Princess Fiona, and continuing his progression of maturity (for the most parts) – which was built on in the first movie. When invited to celebrate their new marriage at his new bride’s family kingdom of Far Far Away, the pair along with Donkey (Murphy) head off.
When the King and Queen (Cleese and Andrews) discover that their once human daughter is now a full ogre herself, they are taken aback, and the King decides to use the magic of old friend Fairy Godmother (Saunders), who also has her son, Prince Charming (Everett) on board – as he was just moments behind Shrek from rescuing Fiona from the tower.
The King also hires hit man Puss in Boots (Banderas) to get rid of Shrek, but he goes quickly from antagonist to protagonist when he hears of Shrek’s fight for Fiona. The trio then team together after a love potion gone awry parts Shrek from Fiona, and turns them both human – with Charming pretending to be the loveable ogre.
Not often do sequels better their predecessor, but to me this is most definitely one of the exceptions to the rule. The sequel sets up some fantastic new locations and the new supporting secondary characters are all given plenty to do, and are not shuffled into the background. There are plenty of humorous homage’s to the voice casts previous films as well.
Saunders rendition of ‘I need a hero’ in the third act, is by far the stand out of the movie Followed by some less impressive sequels, and a spin off for Puss in Boots.
**** 1/2 (out of 5)