I was so bowled over by the antics of "Donkaiy" and the witticisms of "Puss" that I caught the second installment of Shrek's adventure with his noble ass.. hmmm..steed and his (un)lovely new wife Fiona two times over the weekend.
For starters, overall I think the movie does not surpass the original. But then which sequel has upstaged the original? Even the Wachowski's cannot boast in this regard. Mebbe George Lucas and Steven Speilberg can, but they are the exception rather than the norm.
Having said that, however, I have to admit that the movie is as enjoyable as the first. Donkey's metamorphosis into a blond maned "bronco" (as the voice-over on the live coverage mentions) and Puss's imitable Latino charm play no small parts in this regard. And this movie has much more references to pop-culture movies and events that any other that I've seen in recent time. Sir Justin and Saxon on fifth Avenue indeed! I actually watched the second time mainly to soak in on these references and the underlying humor that you don't usually catch the first time you watch a movie.
I do think that as compared to the first movie, the humor in this one is sometimes subtle and very adult. It would take at-least a fifteen year old (here in the US, much older mebbe in India) to grasp what's being meant. Visually however, the kids are gonna enjoy this one and Hemanth, looks like your Shrek DVD will finally get some rest once this DVD comes out.
Again graphics wise this movie is much more advanced. The visual characteristics of the people providing the voices have been incorporated very well. For example, Donkey's facial expressions reminded me a lot of Eddie Murphy's SNL skits as "Velvet Jones" (the guy behind the "I wanna be a Ho" self help book) and "Buckwheat". Awesome job by the animators here.
Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots, in an obvious take off on his Zorro role, simply rocks. His latino accented drawl and the characteristic sword play, not to mention the "emotional feline blackmail" he indulges in whenever cornered is one of the strong points of the movie.
However if I noticed one thing that stuck me as out of place, it was in the case of Fiona. Mebbe its just me, but I did think that Fiona looks a bit differnt (when in the princess garb).
Shrek also seems to have lost his Scottish accent that was so striking in the first movie. However it could just be that I have gotten used to it so much that its not obvious any more.
The first movie was all about the 4 main characters. Here however, a lot of secondary characters have humorous interludes mixed in with the main trio of Shrek, Donkey and Fiona (with fourth spoke in this wheel being Puss ofcourse). This is where the movie has both its strong points. I am not gonna give away so much, but the secondary characters raise much more laughs than the first movie. But they are as unintrusive as they can get and help keep the focus on the main quartet.
Go ahead and watch the movie, even if you are not under the age of 10. Infact if you are part of the "above the PG-13 rating" audience you are going to have more fun than the under 10s.