Already a box-office success, Shrek 2 has become the highest grossing animated feature of all time, smashing Finding Nemo's record in only 25 days – just over a year after it was set.
The story picks up pretty much where we left off in the last film: Shrek and Fiona are enjoying their honeymoon immediately after their wedding, but no sooner have they returned home than they are both summoned to the royal court of Far Far Away. It seems Princess Fiona's parents have heard news of her wedding, and would like to meet her charming and dashing husband and bless the marriage.
And so begins another tale of inner beauty triumphing over outer ugliness in a fairytale world. The film follows the same format as the original Shrek, presumably using the "if it ain't broke" philosophy, and it certainly seems to have paid financial dividends. The characters are as lively and likeable as ever and there are quite a lot of good jokes, but not as many as you might expect. Again the film relies heavily on spoofing other movies for laughs, with more film references than you can shake a stick at.
While this is very clever, it does start to feel like the makers have gone out of their way to get the film references in, and may leave you wishing they'd mixed in some different varieties of humour. Following the same format as the first film, Shrek 2 also suffers the same flaws and when you couple that with the fact that it's not quite as funny as the first, you may come away a little disappointed.
However, if you are one of the many who thought Shrek was brilliant, or if you have little ones, then definitely go and see this film. It's lively and funny, and Banderas' character Puss In Boots is worth your admission money alone.