Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Shrek 2

Okay, I loved the first "Shrek," and I particularly loved the end where Fiona is an ogre and she's all "I don't understand -- I'm supposed to be beautiful" and Shrek is all "But you are beautiful" and they're all happy and in love and all that hooey. Good stuff. Shrek 2 is cute but just not as good -- in the ranks of CGI movies, "Toy Story" and "Shrek" being the top of the heap and "Shark Tale" being the bottom, I'd put it somewhere around the lower middle -- in there with "Ice Age" and "Robots" maybe. Here's the thing -- human Shrek is hot. I mean, I was really struck by this. I don't know how human Fiona ranks with guys -- I'm thinking way below Jessica Rabbit in terms of boinkable cartoon characters -- but human Shrek? Yum. And you know what? I just didn't buy that there was any compelling reason why the two of them couldn't remain good-looking humans at the end of that movie. They loved each other no matter what, right? They still had the same personalities -- Shrek was still a big, gross, rude ogre on the inside, and it was demonstrated that Fiona was the same in either form in the first movie. There was no reason they couldn't still go back and live happily in their swamp even if they were humans.

I'm not saying there was anything wrong with them being green and ogre-y, just that the message at the end of the movie seemed to be that there was something superior about it, and I don't buy that. Sure, it's what's on the inside that counts, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with being hot. Besides, Shrek had some inferiority issues based on how people treated him because of his looks. He had the love of a good woman to show him he had inner beauty and all the crap, so how exactly was a really good makeover going to hurt? Especially since then he could go and be more comfortable when he visited his in-laws.

It would be different if I could see being an ogre as more of an ethnic thing, where he didn't want to change his identity to fit into another group. But he wasn't part of a group of ogres either, and it didn't seem like he really liked being one all that much to begin with. It wasn't like he was having trouble adjusting to him human body either -- that didn't even come up. I think the point of the resolution of the first movie was that on the inside, Shrek and Fiona were two good-hearted, rowdy, fun-loving people who could love each other regardless of what was on the outside. They knew they had that together. Fiona accepted her ogre form and found happiness in the swamp with Shrek -- I argue they would have gone on just as happily ever after as a couple of good-looking humans who happened to live in a quaint little rustic cabin in the swamp and who enjoyed a good mud bath from time to time. And I know I wouldn't have thought any less of them if they'd made that choice. All else being equal -- who wouldn't prefer to be attractive?

But I guess the scriptwriter or whoever didn't think that would be a very PC ending. Which is ironic, since the movie industry is constantly sending us exactly the opposite of that "beauty is on the inside" message...

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