Shrek Forever After | Mike Mitchell, 2010
When Shrek came out, I watched it so many times that I could recite every line of dialogue. So, I guess you can say that I loved it. This was because at that point, CG animation was still quite a new thing, and story and humor-wise, I had never seen anything like it. Shrek 2 replicated the same formula and applied it to a “meet the parents” story successfully, so I also loved it. Then came Shrek the Third, a tired and unfunny movie that recycled some jokes we’ve heard a thousand times and, well, turned out to be ones of the worst animated movies ever. After such a huge disappointment, I really wasn’t looking forward to Shrek Forever After, the last chapter of the series. It just looked awful and painfully dull. It turns out that it is not as bad as its predecessor, but it is still a far cry from the first two great movies.
This time around Shrek (Mike Myers) is still married to Fiona (Cameron Diaz) a family man. Every day, his children wake him up, he has to change diapers, Donkey (Eddie Murphy), and Puss (Antonio Banderas) visit him every day; and doesn’t get any time to get Ogre things. Also, people don’t really fear him anymore since he was once kings, etc. He wishes he could go back and be his old self, if only for a day. And Rumpelstiltskin is there to grant him his wish. But there is a catch, that in in order to have his day as an ogre, he must give one of the days he has already lived. He gives him any random day of his childhood, and so he goes. But it turns out that the little bastard took the day he was born, and he now rules Far Far Away. And so, to go back to his family he has to find Fiona and make her fall in love with him again before the sun rises.
As you can see it’s basically just It’s a Wonderful Life but with ogres, so you know how everything is going to unfold. And that is the problem. The story is fine, as it is a great story, but other than the setting and the characters, the writer do nothing new to it. Sure, they probably wanted to play it safe since it is a kids movie, but still. I would have liked it more if it had an unexpected ending, but no, they have to live happily ever after. Also, most of the jokes fall flat. I did laugh a few times, but those jokes were references to the previous movies, or some double entendres.
In the other departments, it doesn’t stand out either. The cast does the same thing that they have always done and it actually sounds like they are getting bored of the character. The animation is nice, but there are some shots that look very raw, and it distracted me. The score is the best of the series, but still manages to be bland, etc.
Shrek Forever After is not a bad movie, but it’s not a great one either. It will entertain the kids and get a chuckler or two out of the adults. I just wish that the supposedly last outing of these characters (except Puss who is getting his own movie) was better.