The greatest fairy tale never told.

Darth Buzz


It was about 30 minutes into the film when I began to wonder if this film was going to show any signs of life whatsoever. I'm thinking you go 30 minutes into a film and you haven't seen any sign of interest except the cool animation work, and you have a minus 4 points right there. Fortunately the film does pick up considerably and becomes fairly entertaining. One of the big issues with this film is the dialogue of Eddie Murphy. He rambles, and rambles, and rambles... and doesn't say a funny thing for maybe 10 to 20 minutes at a time. I saw an interview with Murphy about this film and he comments that this is much more of a collaborative work than he has done in the past. If this is so, then I think they should have let Murphy run with the ball and make his own lines because they couldn't have been as bad as the ones in this movie. Another thing that I thought interesting was all the jabs that they made at Disney and they end up making the exact same type of film in the end. The bad guy goes away and the good guy gets the girl. That's REAL different than what Disney does. NOT.

All that aside the film does show that it has a heart and you begin to care a little for Shrek and his plight as an ogre. Also Mike Myers does a fine job as Shrek. So overall it wasn't a horrible affair. I am also a sucker for anything animated so I enjoyed watching the whole spectacle of the computer animation, and the animation is very good.  Good enough to distract me from some of Donkey's (Eddie Murphy) really stupid jabber.  If your not a big fan of animation I'd steer clear of this one.

Jurassic Mark

SCORE: 2 Stars

Shrek doesn't attempt originality. It's Beauty and the Beast (or Beast and the Beast if you prefer). The strongest thing about Shrek is Shrek himself. Mike Myers is perfect for the voice of our anti-heroic ogre. His voice is able to register anger (important for an ogre), sarcasm and wistfulness. The screenplay is wise to gradually increase the complexity of Shrek's character and, ultimately, emphasize his loneliness.

So far, so good. Unfortunately, the movie consistently failed to make me laugh. Fart jokes? Give me a break. We've had enough of that in the last year to construct a television series called America's Greatest Flatulence (hosted by Bob Saget).

Also, as Shrek's sidekick, The Donkey (Eddie Murphy) has all the lines and none of the good ones. I'm sure Mr. Murphy will never read this column, so I'm not blowing smoke up his ass (no pun intended) when I say he's a brilliant actor and comedian. His work in the Nutty Professor movies (even though they ultimately fail) is extraordinary. If I had to pick between stand-up comedy tickets to a Mike Myer's concert and an Eddie Murphy' concert, I would probably pick Murphy. In Shrek, The Donkey is sort of a retread of his work in Disney's Mulan. The running gag is that The Donkey never shuts up. He probably tells 75 jokes and I laughed at maybe two.

The rest of the gifted cast reads their lines and make it through the movie unscathed. As the princess, Cameron Diaz is more than competent. The villain (John Lithgow) doesn't register the gleeful over-the-top performances he is known for. If ever there was a time for an over-the-top performance, one would think voicing an animated villain would be the time.

Some people might be interested in the slew of inside movie jokes. Shrek tackles everything from Disney films to The Matrix to West Side Story. But, as my colleague Darth Buzz said, Shrek makes fun of Disney and then covers the same Mickey Mouse material.