The first time I saw Shrek (the movie, not the sheep) I was entirely surprised by what I saw. I was not expecting to see one of the funniest movies around.

I certainly was not expecting to see a movie which would stand up alongside more mature movies and be just as entertaining, thought-provoking and entirely enjoyable.

On Monday night I went to see Shrek 2, expecting to see more of the same – I was wrong.

Shrek 2 takes all the elements of the first film, and adds to what they already had, by inserting new characters and elements, and not changing too much of the good thing they already had.

Alot of Shrek 2 is just more of the same – but when the same is so good, why change that? Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey all return for the sequel, and are as funny as ever – as witnessed by the opening montage of scenes (some of the best cinema of the season).

Elsewhere, Antonio Banderas appears as Puss in Boots, and steals the show – Puss in Boots is one of the funniest characters in ANY animated film, not just this one.

Jennifer Saunders appears as the Fairy Godmother, and Rupert Everett as Prince Charming, and both make great (while small) appearances on screen, with great lines and sequences.

BUT, the funniest thing about Shrek 2 is not the lines, or the characters or the situations – its how many nods to modern culture they insert into 90 minutes of movie.

The references to other movies, to pop culture and even to other jokes are too numerous to count, but some highlights include nods to Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, Ghostbusters and From Here to Eternity, as well as send-ups of Starbucks, Burger King, the Hollywood sign and too many more to discuss here.

Overall I give Shrek 2 a 9 out of 10 – for me, it was a near perfect comedy film, and a near perfect animated movie, however it just didn’t have the “Wow this is so unique” element which Shrek 1 had. But don’t hold that against it.