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Shrek More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just another lunch box shifter

3/10
Author: Duncan Drury from London, UK
2 July 2001

I went to the cinema gorged on the hype for this movie. What I found was that I knew every joke already, and that they weren't really funny.

What really got me was the animation of people. It was so bad that I would rather watch stick men. Computer animation just doesn't hack it when you are looking at something as familiar as a human face. This is something they knew when they made Toy Story, and got round in a very clever way. Shrek could have got round it by using caricatures for ALL the human characters.

Anyway, that aside, I found the film boring, and noted that the small children in the audience at one point started shouting across the cinema to each other, suggesting to me that they were bored too.

I shouldn't have gone to see this film. If you like cinema, and are concerned with decent storylines that are engaging and intelligent, then don't go and see this film without some form of inebriation to soothe you!

It really is, like Antz, substandard to Disney, no matter how many anti-Disney wise-cracks there are in there. The story is more simple than needs be, and has no message worth 90 minutes or whatever (seemed like 30 mins to me - small blessing). Also, I wonder if Mike Myers dare set foot in Scotland after another exploitative attempt at an accent. Mike Myers, you are no Mel Gibson - no one will thank you for this. Why are you bothering.

Ooh, yes, and the "hip" soundtrack just didn't hang. What were all those bands thinking. Ah yes, royalties!

Don't listen to the hype, and don't believe the self-referential "hipness". Shrek is just another lunch-box shifter.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good, but disappointing and overrated

Author: Sunil Patel (poltrcow@umich.edu) from Ann Arbor, Michigan
6 June 2001

*Shrek* had a high bar to reach. Stellar reviews, good word-of-mouth, and my own anticipation since seeing the first trailer all led to a high degree of wanting it to be really, really *Memento*-good. While I've got *Memento* on my tongue, I can segue by saying that that movie lived up to the hype, while *Shrek* didn't quite make it all the way.

I was very, very worried at the beginning. During the opening credits, they employ more gross humor than I've seen in some entire movies. Burping, farting, bug-eating, implied excrement, whatever they could think of. I was afraid. Where was the wit? The clever fracturing of fairy tales?

The clever fracturing of fairy tales, I discovered, was not as prominent as I had thought and wished. Save for a few scenes at the beginning and the end, and one or the two in the middle, there isn't really that much of it. And most of what there was, I'd already seen in the trailers. The Gingerbread Man, however, should get his own movie. And I really love the Merry Men scene. I expected more of that kind of fun, but there wasn't.

Where does the other humor come from? References to the butt, farting, jokes about how "short" [cough, cough] Lord Farquaad is, some nice Disneyland bits...and the fact that Eddie Murphy is speaking. He talks. A lot. But I like Eddie Murphy. The way he speaks, it's as if he believes that everything that comes out of his mouth is comic gold. Some of it's pretty funny. Some of it's just odd, but it's said amusingly. Some of it's just...hm, okay, he said what was in the script. But there are other really good elements of humor that I won't mention here because one good element of humor is the element of surprise.

Mike Myers is excellent as well. I could hardly tell it was him. He uses a Canadian/Scottish hybrid accent that works very well. I read an article about how he actually begged to re-record his lines in this new accent because he didn't think he'd captured his character right the first time. It set the movie back three months and increased the budget by $4 million. Katzenberg thought it was worth it, and I think so too. Chris Farley was actually slated to play Shrek, and had actually recorded some lines before he died, but hearing Mike Myers' portrayal of him, I can't imagine Chris Farley doing it. I don't think he could have given him the genuine emotion that Shrek has now.

Cameron Diaz. Hm. For the first fifteen minutes Princess Fiona talked, all I could see was Cameron Diaz speaking her lines in the recording room. I couldn't see the *character* saying the lines for some reason. I guess her voice was right for the character, but it took a while to get used to it.

John Lithgow's great, but that goes without saying.

The animation, as expected, is spectacular. It's just so amazing to see these 3-d characters walk around in their 3-d environment.

So, overall...I think the movie could have been a *lot* better. Oh, I forgot to mention the music. I didn't recognize more than half the songs, but I suppose many of you will. Geez, sheesh, I sound like I hated the movie. I really didn't. My problem is I came in with really high expectations that weren't met. There's a lot of great stuff, and it's a very enjoyable movie (Enjoyability is always a plus for me). It does get my blessing and recommendation, but I just warn that you don't get caught up in all the hype. One review I just read ended with, "but it's no *Toy Story 2*." It isn't, but I think it could have been.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Way over-rated

3/10
Author: tampaman24 from Tampa, Fl
2 June 2001

This will go down as another one of those movies that 'everyone' liked, but in hindsight, people won't be able to pick out many lines that were very funny. It's funny how movies snow ball once a few people get behind it. Once everyone says it is good then people are afraid to say it was bad. This was not a good movie. This was not a funny movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

how very disappointing....

3/10
Author: Lu775 from Canada
30 May 2001

Total lack of creativity and originality causes this cartoon to fall flat, despite the strong cast doing voices. Animation was typical computer based style, nothing stellar.

The story was straightforward, with no conflict, or suspense to hold interest. A very disappointing movie experience.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Movie with no target audience

5/10
Author: crumpcamra from Decatur, Alabama
29 May 2001

This is a PG movie aimed for the G audience. It is funny, and a good story, with some cleverness tucked here and there, but hovers just above the heads of the kids toward which animated movies should be aimed. I took my kids to see this, since they had seen so many commercials on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, and we had the toys from Burger King, so obviously the people behind this movie thought that it was for kids, but the language was too Eddie Murphy-ish for younger children. I recommend against taking children under ten to see this movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Shrek mixes feelings

4/10
Author: robotsareevil from Pittsburgh, PA
23 May 2001

I took my time and saw Shrek twice this past weekend. I made sure that I understood exactly what it was that I liked and disliked about the film before committing it to words. And here's where I stand.

Shrek is funny, no... not just funny. It is by far the funniest movie out this year. But it misses its target in a lot of different ways. Donkey, Shrek's comic sidekick voiced by Eddie Murphy brought me to laughter every time he did anything in the film. There wasn't a second of silence when Donkey spoke.

Then there is Lord Farquaad. This miserable little man, voiced by John Lithgow, is hilarious. His tyrade against the fairy tale creatures is unrelenting, and his evil demenour made me double over more than once.

And the fairy tale creatures as well, caused constant pain in my side. And I welcome that pain any day. From Pinochio to the Three Bears, they were all there, and I was glad to see them.

I'm sure by now you've noticed that I've left two very important characters out of this commentary. The first, is Fiona, voiced by Cameron Diaz. The second, is Shrek, voiced by Mike Myers (who is one of my very favorites).

These two characters suffered immensly throughout the feature. Shrek's humour was grotesque, and found only a few times through the course of the movie. As he approaches Lord Farquaad's castle, accompanied by his friend Donkey, Shrek comments, "do you think he's compensating for something?" The castle is, of course, huge and some might consider it narrow. This joke is one of those that are intended to fly over the head of the Jr. audience, and make adults and parents laugh. Well, I'm sure it flew over the kids heads... but when it got to the adults who were tall enough to catch it, it really wasn't funny. That was Myers problem throughout the whole movie, he wasn't funny.

Fiona, I grant, was not really intended to be funny. At least I hope not.

I think that the first main problem I had with the film was that the romance seemed to be the main point that they were trying to emphasize. I think they should have subdued it a little more. Maybe brought in more scenes with the funny "faerie-tale-things," for a few more laughs. Farquaad should have been in it more as well, I think.

Overall, it should have been a half hour longer, and not strived for the amount of substance that it did. The medium is great, but the presentation they were making was for comedy, and not for some dramatic romance... and then the script decided to screw the presentation over.

Shrek is good. I liked it. No, I loved it. But still, these reservations really stick with me even days after I've seen it. The combination of the "image isn't everything" romance and the comedy just didn't mix as well as I had hoped they would.

Regardless of that little tyrade, I'm still recommending "Shrek" to all my friends, and to you as well. Shrek is a good family movie. A good date movie. And a good movie to see with friends. It's mostly funny, and generally a good time.

Go see Shrek. But don't expect perfection. Just expect to laugh.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Ruining a good kids movie

3/10
Author: marc-newman from San Marcos, CA
22 May 2001

I wonder how much effort screenwriters put in to placing elements in a children's movie to guarantee a PG rating? Shrek has a great concept -- the lampooning of fairy tale stories is a mischievous idea, and provides some of the films best humorous moments. But these are merely asides in the film. The actual story is a pretty standard Disneyesque one of "it's what's inside that counts." Even the touted computer graphics (why we bow to everything that comes out of the box is beyond me) seemed jerky in places, and nowhere near the composition and brilliance of Beauty and the Beast. Still, I thought this film was for kids. How sad I was then, to hear Eddie Murphy's Donkey making sexual innuendo in his sleep. It was not necessary to advance the story; it had nothing to do with his character. Additionally, kids are treated to sexual humor about Snow White that was completely unnecessary. Inclusions such as these, which do not need to be in the film to make it enjoyable, made the film inappropriate for my children to watch (which is why I preview PG films first). I am looking forward to the day when filmmakers discover that being "hip" is not the same thing as telling a great, compelling story. Shrek disappoints, don't believe the hype.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A delight for young and old alike

7/10
Author: jeri-8 from Dallas, TX
26 April 2001

I saw this movie at a screening recently. It was a delightful movie with something for everyone. I think it will be as big a hit as "Toy Story I and II." The computer animation is so realistic that it is great to watch. The donkey with Eddie Murphy's voice is a real crowd pleaser. All in all, a winner!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A GREAT parody

8/10
Author: Renee
14 April 2001

I wasn't sure, going into this film, if it was going to be some sort of "poor-man's Toy Story" (considering this is Dreamwork's computer animated division, ala Disney's Pixar), but was in for a pleasant surprise. This film is a degree more adult, in terms of humor, than Disney animated films, and in a good way. I don't think younger children will totally understand it, but this a film that adults will enjoy. *Watch for the interrogation scene with the gingerbread man; it's GOLD!*

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The greatest fairy tale never told.

10/10
Author: Manuel Josh Rivera
2 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not your average family cartoon. "Shrek" is jolly and wicked, filled with sly in-jokes and yet somehow possessing a heart. All that work has paid off: The movie is an astonishing visual delight, with animation techniques that seem lifelike and fantastical, both at once. No animated being has ever moved, breathed or had its skin crawl quite as convincingly as Shrek, and yet the movie doesn't look like a reprocessed version of the real world.

The story follows Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers, who utilizes his Fat Bastard voice from the Austin Powers movie into the role). Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp surrounded by "Keep Out" and "Beware the Ogre!" signs. He wants only to be left alone, perhaps because he is not such an ogre after all but merely a lonely creature with an inferiority complex because of his ugliness. He is horrified when the solitude of his swamp is disturbed by a sudden invasion of cartoon creatures, who have been banished from Lord Farquaad's kingdom.

From there we have our plot: Lord Farquaad's desire to wed the Princess Fiona, and his reluctance to slay the dragon that stands between her and would-be suitors. He hires Shrek to attempt the mission, which Shrek is happy to do, providing the loathsome fairy-tale creatures are banished and his swamp returned to its dismal solitude. On his mission, Shrek is joined by a donkey named the Donkey, whose running commentary, voiced by Eddie Murphy, provides some of the movie's best laughs.

The expedition to the castle of the Princess involves a suspension bridge above a flaming abyss, and the castle's interior is piled high with the bones of the dragon's previous challengers. When Shrek and the Donkey get inside, there are exuberant action scenes that whirl madly through interior spaces, and revelations about the dragon no one could have guessed. And all along the way, asides and puns, in-jokes and contemporary references, and countless references to other movies.

No doubt all of this, and a little dig at DisneyWorld, were inspired by feelings DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg has nourished since his painful departure from Disney—but the elbow in the ribs is more playful than serious.

Nowadays, actors who do voice-over work have starring roles with fat paychecks, and the ads for "Shrek" use big letters to trumpet the names of Myers, Murphy, Cameron Diaz (Fiona) and John Lithgow (Farquaad). Their vocal performances are nicely suited to the characters. I feel like each performance is given great care rather than just having a celebrity do the voice.

"Shrek" unveils creatures who have been designed from the inside out, so that their skin, muscles and fat move upon their bones instead of seeming like a single unit. They aren't "realistic," but they're curiously real. The artistry of the locations and setting is equally skilled—not lifelike, but beyond lifelike, in a merry, stylized way.

Still, all the craft in the world would not have made "Shrek" work if the story hadn't been fun and the ogre so lovable. Shrek is not handsome but he isn't as ugly as he thinks; he's a guy we want as our friend, and he doesn't frighten us but stir our sympathy.

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