Shrek is one hell of an animated ride, and right when you're certain
you know where to expect the next gag it one ups you. If you need a
reason to see Shrek, here is that reason: imagine Eddie Murphy as an
annoying not to mention obnoxious talking donkey. Yeah. Eddie Murphy
gives Robin Williams a serious run for his money in terms of greatest
animated side kick. From there we get Mike Myers voicing a big green
ogre, who plays off Eddie Murphy with perfect comedic timing like the
two were meant to do this film together.
Shrek is merciless in its humor. Targeting everything from fairy tales
to Disney films to narrative clichés to bad puns, sliding in its own
commentary, all the while giving the typical fantasy story a few modern
twists and turns to deliver a strangely original unoriginal story with
original unoriginal characters . . . that doesn't make sense, but Shrek
does, does it well, and doesn't care. And you never know where this
humor is going to come from, either either visual gag, musical nod,
or spoken dialogue. All three provide their share of narrative and
commentary to the concepts in Shrek.
I think the beauty of Shrek is it's taken the typical fairy tale (which
all of us have heard), and it answers the silly 'what if . . .' and
'why don't they ever . . .' questions we tend to ask. But that's not
the core of the story - the core of this story is the friendship
between Shrek and Donkey, which works in a funny goofball, but touching
and unique way. If the audience can buy into Shrek and Donkey's
relationship to one another, then they can believe entire film (which
more or less focuses on the adventure the two share together). True,
Shrek has a love theme . . . but it's Donkey and Shrek who sustain the
film through most of the picture.
As for Cameran Diaz and John Lithgow, while not on screen as much as
our two heroes, still play an important role. I wouldn't want to
downplay Lithgow and Diaz who do bring their respective characters to
life, but Shrek is a tale about an enduring friendship with a romance
story on the side.
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