8 out of 10


Bizzare, Colourful And Full Of Laughs

The land of Ulock is ruled by the power-hungry Lord Farquad, who dreams of ruling the perfect kingdom. To this end, he has ordered that all the fairy-tale creatures be removed to designated areas. One of these areas is a swamp which happens to be the home of a very unsociable ogre named Shrek, who is anything but pleased when he suddenly finds his solitude, not to mention his home, invaded by hundreds of unwanted guests. Not being the type to sit back and let people just walk all over him, Shrek sets out for Lord Farquad's castle to set things right. He is accompanied on this trek by a remarkably small talking donkey, named simply Donkey, who seems completely incapable of shutting up. In the mean time, Lord Farquad has had it pointed out that he can't rule the perfect kingdom without being a king. In order to accomplish this, he has assembled a tournament to select a champion who will rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from her prison in a dragon-guarded keep in the middle of a lake of lava. When Shrek arrives in the middle of this tournament and ends up beating all of Lord Farquad's knights, he suddenly finds himself named the champion and sent on a new quest. It doesn't take long for him to work out a deal: If he rescues the princess, the fairy-tale creatures will be removed from his swamp. It seems a simple enough task, but things aren't always what they seem.

The bizarre and colourful cast of characters in this film, and the inventive twists it puts on some old fairy-tale clichés make this one of the most enjoyable films I've watched in a long time. I also liked the music, which I thought was not only good in and of itself but also remarkably well suited to the film. The ending likely won't come as a surprise to anyone, since the ads for the second sort of give it away, but it's still quite a clever ending, and I liked the way it was hinted at, ever so slightly, throughout the movie. In any case, it's not your standard fairy-tale, which I say is a good thing: we have more than enough of those.

Not Your Standard Fairy Tale

Film Critic: Bronwynn Erskine