Shrek Forever After Movie Review
Independent Films, Movie Reviews
Once upon a time in Hollywoodland, DreamWorks Animation unveiled the animated film called “Shrek” which became an instant classic. Soon after, “Shrek 2” followed then “Shrek the Third,” and now, “Shrek Forever After.”
Billed as the final chapter of the “Shrek” franchise, the fourth installment is better than the third, and will make you fall in love with the characters again. In the first “Shrek” we fell in love with Donkey (Eddie Murphy); in the second, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) stole our hearts; we forgot about Donkey and Puss in Boots in the third, but you will be smitten by the characters in the fourth.
The theme of “Shrek Forever After” is all about falling in love again. Shrek (Mike Myers) must experience true love and bestow true love’s first kiss for the second time to the love of his life, Fiona (Cameron Diaz).
The entire cast is inspired headed by Myers as the jolly green giant. Shrek longs for the days when he was a mean, scary ogre. Nowadays, he’s a local celebrity and his house has become a tourist attraction.
In order to get his groove back, Shrek makes a pact with Rumpelstiltskin (head of story Walt Dohrn in pitch-perfect performance), a mischievous dwarfish creature who can make your dreams come true for a price.
Shrek must give up a day of his life to experience one full day of being a frightful ogre. He chooses to sacrifice the day he was born thus putting the inhabitants of Far, Far Away in grave danger.
Borrowing a page from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the new “Shrek” reboots the franchise by asking the question “what if.” What if Shrek did not save Fiona? What if he did not meet Donkey? What if Shrek was not able to help Far, Far Away? What if Shrek was not born?
By putting Shrek in an alternate universe where his heroism does not exist, he learns to fall in love again. Fiona is both the heart and the brawn of the film and Diaz voices the character with a fine mixture of vulnerability and strength. The captured princess is now a warrior and head of the resistance movement against Rumpelstiltskin.
Bringing the laughs are Donkey and Puss in Boots. Both characters were criminally underused in “Shrek the Third” but director Mike Mitchell wisely put the characters in the center of the plot in the fourth film. Donkey must learn to be friends with Shrek again, and Puss in Boots has to deal with being an obese feline.
Puss is so cute with his oversized girth and his equally-oversized eyes that he puts to good use when trying to beg for something. The camaraderie between Donkey and Puss is so palpable that the experience is akin to hanging out with old friends.
Written by Josh Klausner (“Shrek the Third”) and Darren Lemke (TV’s “Lost”), the script is funny and heartfelt. I found myself laughing and then crying near the end. It’s hard to shed a tear when wearing a pair of 3D glasses.
The first of the “Shrek” films to be shot in 3D stereoscopic vision, the animation is great although it’s not necessary to see this movie in three dimension. But there are two key battle scenes that look great in 3D such as Shrek versus the Witches and the final fight sequence.
If this is indeed the final chapter, then “Shrek Forever After” is a fitting ending to the franchise. While it’s hard to say goodbye to someone we love, it’s heartening to know that we’ve given “Shrek” our true love’s kiss. In fact, I’m giving “Shrek” 3 ½ kisses.
Year of Production: 2010
Country: United States