Hardly strays from the generic biopic formula for the first half, hitting all the major notes in Queen’s rise to fame with plenty of concert montages (and in contrast, little substantial conflict). That said, the fact that I teared up at the redemptive reunion and final performance shows that that the character work is done extremely well along the way (Malek is great): Freddie is a fascinating, flawed character and his journey to find himself and his family (also well drawn) is a touching one.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Upon learning that his father has been kidnapped, Austin Powers must travel to 1975 and defeat the aptly named villain Goldmember – who is working with Dr. Evil. (IMDb)
There are moments that reflect the energetic creativity of the first two films (see the meta-opening credits, subtitle mix-up at the office, “boobs” naming gag) and the Mini-Me+Austin slapstick scene was pretty funny, but besides that it’s pretty much all distasteful potty humour (see especially Fat Bastard after sumo-wrestling), overly sexual and laced with homophobia and misogyny. In this mostly humourless context, the brief yet somehow still incoherent story is beyond aggravating.
Rumpelstiltskin tricks a mid-life crisis burdened Shrek into allowing himself to be erased from existence and cast in a dark alternate timeline where Rumpel rules supreme. (IMDb)
Props for finding yet another way to twist some conflict out of the happy ending from the first one with a cool Back to the Future-esque alternative timeline premise, though it ultimately did Shrek’s intriguing initial inner struggles a disservice. Besides a decent story, however, there’s little to appreciate: The new characters fail to charm (Rumpel is just annoying) and aside from a few more one-liners from Donkey (“I go down smooth, but I come out fighting!”) there isn’t much to laugh at.
Princess Fiona’s parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres. (IMDb)
The fart jokes and pop song performances feel a little stale this time around, but there’s still plenty of chuckles to be had in the sly one-liners (“You still look like an ass to me”), the dramatic Donkey (“I’m melting!”; “I am trotting!”), and cutesy medieval-modern culture mash-ups (see the Medieval drive-thru). The story is a little simplistic but presents with frankness the mature themes of identity and insecurity as they relate to the central couple. Stay tuned for Waits’ musical cameo.