Volume 95, Issue 1
Thursday, May 24, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT||
Shrek will make you laugh your ass off
By Andrea Chiu
A film starring the voice of Mike Myers as an ugly green ogre sounds like a promising piece of humour. But while Shrek is often funny, Myers is not always the main source of humour.
Instead, the man who brought us Austin Powers and years of laughs on Saturday Night Live, takes the more mature, relaxed approach as the angry ogre turned kind-hearted do-gooder, Shrek.
The story of Shrek begins when he meets Donkey (Eddie Murphy), a clumsy, big-mouthed ass who seeks friendship and a little protection in the unfriendly ogre. When Shrek's swamp is suddenly invaded by cute fairy-tale creatures, Shrek suddenly finds himself sent on a quest to find the Lord Farquaad's perfect princess and in return, he shall receive his quiet swamp back.
Unfortunately, retrieving Princess Fiona and returning her to Farquaad's castle is no simple task. Shrek and his big-mouthed sidekick Donkey are confronted with a reluctant Princess Fiona, an entertaining and obnoxious Robin Hood and most problematic of all, the awful feeling of love sickness.
Instead of Mike Myers, it is Eddie Murphy who delivers most of the humourous lines as the innocent, yet talkative Donkey. While most of the film's humour is delivered with witty subtleties, more slapstick humour would have appealed to the younger audience. It is, after all, an animated movie.
As the most entertaining character, Eddie Murphy's squeaky voiced Donkey has many smartass lines and perfectly suited cute donkey movements, making him the highlight of Shrek.
The animation in Shrek is impeccable. Movements and textures are so accurately depicted that it boggles the mind to comprehend just how far animation has come in ten years.
Where Mike Myers is less entertaining than usual, Shrek's supporting cast picks up the slack. Treading the thin blurry line of annoying and charming, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) is effective, playing the voice of the spoiled princess turned kind-hearted heroine.
Although he worked with mediocre dialogue, John Lithgow is fittingly obnoxious as the vertically impaired Lord Farquaad. His exaggerated voice is easily recognizable, but would have been better used to play an even more evil character than Farquaad.
Unlike most Disney films, this Dreamworks release downplays the importance of the soundtrack, as the music is suitably secondary to the actions and dialogue.
The strength of Shrek lies not in any one of its single stars, but in
the complete package. The film avoids being too over the top and with that,
it appeals to both children and adults.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000