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PCR # 217  (Vol. 5, No. 21)  This edition is for the week of May 17--23, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Shrek 2"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Four stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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 by William Moriaty
"Shrek 2"
 by Mike Smith
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 by Andy Lalino
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Starring the voices of: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Rupert Everett, Jennifer Saunders and John Cleese
Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury and Conrad Vernon
Rated: PG
Running Time: 1 hour 45 mins

It is rare that a sequel is as good or even better then the original film. In the past 30 years, I can only think of three: "The Godfather Part 2," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Well, you can now add a fourth film to that list.

Full of the same wonder and humor of the original, "Shrek 2" expands it's world by traveling to a new country and adding outstanding characters that are voiced by actors who truly understand their roles. The story begins with Shrek (Myers) and his new bride, Fiona (Diaz) returning to their swamp after their honeymoon. They are greeted by the always chatty Donkey (Murphy), who is having problems with his fire breathing dragon of a wife. The couple is surprised when they are summoned to the land of Far, Far Away by Fiona's parents, the king and queen of the country. The folks are under the impression that Prince Charming (Everett) has rescued their daughter from the tower and broken her habit of turning into an Ogre at inopportune times. Imagine their surprise when the two newlyweds emerge from their carriage. While mom and dad are both taken aback, it is the king (Cleese) that is flustered, so much so that his wife tells him to stop being a Drama King! The queen, perfectly voiced by the great Julie Andrews, is much more subdued in her reaction. The majority of the story centers on Shrek and his unwillingness to accept change and his new surroundings. Along the way are some hilarious parodies of popular films and the occasional, hysterical dig at rival film studio Disney.

All of the characters ring true, with Banderas' Puss in Boots the true scene stealer of the film. Playing off of his Zorro character, Banderas turns the sword wielding feline into a fighter or, when necessary, a sad faced, wide eyed kitten that will have you saying, "Awwwww" at first sight. Myers with his Scottish burr (a tribute to his late father) has his comic timing down pat and Murphy is Murphy. Whether annoyingly asking "are we there yet" repeatedly on the journey to Far, Far Away or breaking out in song, his Donkey is the free spirit we all wish we could be.

After the more serious fare of "Van Helsing" and "Troy," the first great family film of the summer has arrived! On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Shrek 2"  Four stars

This week's movie review of "Shrek 2" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.