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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Shrek

Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy
Director: Andrew Adamson
Rated: PG
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: May 2001
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, Simon J. Smith, Vincent Cassel, Peter Dennis, Clive Pearse, Jim Cummings, Bobby Block, Chris Miller

Review by Mark OHara
No Rating Supplied

Most of the 89 minutes of the computer animated SHREK are a delightful lampoon of fairy tales. The trouble is, SHREK ends up following the same sanitized formula at which it had been thumbing its nose.

DreamWorks SKG has translated William Steig's children's book into a slick story to hold the attention of today's audiences. It's really a clichéd tale, when you think about it – an outsider in the form of the big green ogre Shrek( voiced by Mike Meyers, with a Scottish, who wants his privacy back when all kinds of storybook characters, evicted from their abodes, show up in Shrek's part of the forest; Shrek takes a sidekick (the Donkey is voiced by Eddie Murphy, by far the best voice actor in the movie) and commences a quest to find Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz).

Sound familiar? Needless to say, you can see the ending from across the forest, even through all of the trees.

There are lots of good things SHREK has going for it, though. Worthy satires have creative villains, and John Lithgow pulls the bad guy off wonderfully here – Lord Farquaad is a little stump of a man with a pompous voice – he even has fake legs into which he inserts his own short ones when he rides his horse. And something grand happens to him at the end, as well.

There's a moment of absolute sick hilarity, when Fiona has a seemingly sweet whistling duel with a smiling birdie. When it tries a pitch as high as Fiona's, the camera pans away and we sense the bird has exploded! What happens to the three eggs in its nest? Fiona fries them and serves them to Shrek and Donkey! SHREK is at its best when it tries to emulate the spirit created by POLITICALLY INCORRECT BEDTIME STORIES.

Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson pace the story well enough, and use the animation for all kinds of delightful effects. I would recommend seeing SHREK if you ever were a fan of Mother Goose, The Brothers Grimm; alas, if you are a fan of Disney films, you will not be disappointed at the end, but you will have to sit through some archly funny moments.

Copyright © 2001 Mark OHara

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