This movie rocked! I laughed my ass off a million and one times during this movie. I was only unsatisfied with the lack of Dragon in the film which was explained away at the beginning when Donkey said she was moody. I just didn’t buy that. But beyond that, the film was wonderful and full of all sorts of amusing references, from fairy tales to pop culture. Aside from the main characters who returned from the original film, new characters included: the King and Queen of Far Far Away (John Cleese and Julie Andrews), Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), Prince Charming (Rupert Everett), Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders), and The Ugly Stepsister (Larry King).
The movie begins right after Shrek 4-D (the new attraction at Universal Studios) and after the honeymoon of Shrek and Fiona. They arrive home to find Donkey and an invitation to a Royal Ball in the kingdom of Far Far Away from the King and Queen, Fiona’s Mum and Dad. After an exhausting trip of over 700 miles (it’s Far Far Away, all right), they arrive at the main castle of FFA, where the King and Queen are surprised to see their daughter married to an ogre (babies cry and birds loose all sense of direction). Jump to an evening banquet, where both Shrek and the King behave rudely towards each other, embarrassing Fiona. Fiona runs to her room and begins to cry, which summons her Fairy Godmother, who tries to cheer Fiona up with a song and dance routine about making Fiona beautiful. Fiona rejects all of this when all of a sudden Shrek barges in and orders her to pack her bags. She runs out of the room and starts crying again. Meanwhile, Fairy Godmother divulges the details of her bargain with the King where Prince Charming (her son) gets Fiona. So the King arranges to have Shrek killed. He lures Shrek into the forest with the prospect of father and son-in-law bonding. Suddenly they are attacked by Puss in Boots (Look out, Shrek! He’s got a piece!). Puss is easily defeated by Shrek and he pledges his life to Shrek, who decides to bring him along to the Fairy Godmother’s factory, where she can make Shrek beautiful so the King can accept him. They bluff their way into the factory (We’re from the union) and steal a Happily Ever After potion. As they head back to the castle, Donkey volunteers for testing of the potion, but nothing happens. So Shrek finishes the drink and…nothing happens. It starts to rain, and they seek shelter in an abandoned mill (Oh, Shrek, don’t worry. Things just seem bad because it’s dark and rainy and Fiona’s father hired a sleazy hit man to whack you <Puss snarls>). Suddenly Donkey, Shrek and Fiona in her castle bedroom collapse into a deep sleep. They awake the next morning to discover they are sexy (Donkey has become a stallion while Shrek and Fiona are humans). Shrek hurrys back to the castle on Donkey, only to arrive too late. Prince Charming has convinced Fiona that HE is the transformed Shrek. Then there’s the royal ball, and a final battle sequence, and then everyone lives happily ever after.
Aside from all of the laughs, one thing I have to talk about is all of the Disney references. Of course, this took place in the original Shrek too, I just never had a chance to comment on it. Here, we see various Disney characters in … rather humorous lights. My favorite occurs during a parody of the famous beach scene in “From Here to Eternity”. A wave replaces Fiona with The Little Mermaid, who is consequently thrown back by Fiona. Unfortunately, Fiona throws Ariel right at some sharks who proceed to devour her. There are also cameo’s by Captain Hook, the Headless Horseman, and Cogsworth, Lumiere and other singing furniture pieces. Obviously, Dreamworks will take any chance to knock Disney films and characters, which is just fun to watch (frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t slip an anti-Eisner reference into the film).
With 378 million in the bag, Shrek 2 is still chugging along in week 6 of its release. I, of course, will be contributing funds again because the audience (and I) were so loud during the film that I missed about half of the movie. So go see it twice…once for you and once for me!