[Movie Review] Shrek

ShrekStarring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, John Lithgow, Cameron Diaz
Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Genre: Comedy
Cert: G
Released: 2001

When you hear a Scottish accent in a movie, who is the first man you think of? Sean Connery? Maybe, Ewan McGregor? Well I reckon the most prolific Scottish accent in movies these days is from a Canadian. In “Shrek”, Mike Myers once again utilises the highland twang that he has used in numerous projects such as “Saturday Night Live”, “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and “Austin Powers 2”.

Myers is one of the major stars enlisted to voice characters in the smash-hit animated movie. He plays Scottish ogre, Shrek, an unlikely hero recruited by Lord Farquaad (Lithgow), to rescue imprisoned Princess Fiona (Diaz) from an evil dragon. Farquaad intends to marry Fiona, so that he can become King. Along with a motor-mouth donkey (Murphy) Shrek recovers the Princess and on the long trek back to Farquaad, all three learn a lot about friendship and love.

Despite the seeming straight-forward story, and the fact that this is ?merely’ an animated movie, there is more depth to “Shrek” than you might think. Although the first thirty minutes is a somewhat lame collection of irritating jokes, it soon becomes a hugely enjoyable romp full of genuinely funny lines and situations. But it is the main characters individual self-discovery, their understanding of their place in the grand scheme of things and what love is really about, that will outlast the jokes.

Myers and Murphy trade verbals throughout most of the movie, and the results are mixed. Overall I found Myers to be hugely annoying, his Scottish accent totally out of place with the character he played. Murphy surprisingly wasn’t as bad, but still I couldn’t warm to his portrayal of the worlds most excitable mule. Diaz and Lithgow deliver well, Lithgow particularly suited to playing the ignorant Lord Farquaad, Diaz’s real-life beauty a perfect match for her animated alter-ego!

There are numerous lines that will go above the average child’s head such as the constant references to what the sub-five foot Farquaad might be compensating for by having a big castle. Indeed. There are other examples of toilet humour, and while I don’t normally like that sort of thing, it didn’t turn me off. There are numerous stabs at Disney too, but since I’m not exactly a Disney aficionado, I didn’t get them.

“Shrek” is enjoyable for what it is, and while it doesn’t match the hype, it’s a charming way to spend an hour and a half.


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