#1  
Old 05-22-2010, 04:21 PM
Mike Mitchell's Shrek Forever After

Here's the link to the published version of the review in my column at The Richmond Examiner:

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-3...-Forever-After



http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-3...-Forever-After

Shrek Forever After (2010)

It's hard to believe it's already been nine years since the original "Shrek" came to theaters. It was an amazing sight to behold; a film that was a great mixture of fairy tale, humor, and drama. This was followed by two decent sequels that had some funny moments to them. Now Shrek returns in what is supposedly the final chapter in the saga.

Picking up where the third film left off, Shrek (Voice of Mike Myers) is married to Fiona (Voice of Cameron Diaz) and has three children. Things aren't exactly going well as Shrek finds himself in somewhat of a rut, repeating the same day over and over: The children wake him up, he takes care of them, and Puss (Voice of Antonio Banderas) and Donkey (Voice of Eddie Murphy) show up at night for dinner. This leaves no time for Shrek to be alone and relax. His children's birthday party is the last straw. He tells Fiona that he wishes things could go back to the way things were....before he rescued her from the tower.

A crafty little creature named Rumpelstiltskin (Voice of Walt Dohrn) overhears this and puts a plan into motion in which he will claim the kingdom of Far Far Away. He offers Shrek the chance for everything to be as it was before he rescued Fiona, but only for a day. In return, Shrek must give up a day from his past. Shrek agrees, signs the contract, and immediately everything changes. The villagers no longer know who he is, nor does Donkey, Puss, or even Fiona. Worse yet, Rumpelstiltskin has become the ruler of Far Far Away. Now Shrek must put things right before it's too late.

While the first three films in the series are pretty good (including the underrated third film), it seems the series has finally run out of steam for this fourth entry. I kept waiting for that magical mixture of comedy and drama that had made the other films so memorable to come to life here, but it never does.

The film does have some small comedic moments, but now that I think back on it, I can't remember a single one of them. It's pleasant enough to watch though, mainly because of the characters that we have come to know and love. They're all back for this entry: Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss, Gingie, and many others. The problem is that they simply aren't given much to do for this outing.

They're pretty much on the same quest that the last two films had them on, which is to save the kingdom of Far Far Away. This worked in the previous two films because they were a lot funnier, which, in a way, distracted the audience from the predictable plotline. With "Shrek Forever After," it's like watching those films again, but minus the laughs, so we're constantly aware of the predictable plot.

This makes for a film that turns out to be pretty bland. It's not bad, it just seems that the filmmakers ran out of ideas and jokes. Gone are the multiple pop culture references that were omnipresent in the other films. Instead, it seems like they tried to continually remind the audience of the previous films by alluding to them over and over again.

The problems could simply be explained by the fact that this film was written by two different writers, Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, than the previous entries. Perhaps they couldn't think of anything better to write, so by using the same basic plot and some allusions to the other films, they hoped it would work itself out. Sadly, that was not the case.

"Shrek Forever After" feels more like a direct-to-video release than one that should have been put in theaters. I kind of hope that this isn't the last entry in the series because I would hate for it to go out on such an unmemorable note, but if this is any indication of where the filmmakers are at with their level of creativity, then perhaps an end to the series is for the best. That, or some new writers are called for, or better yet, bring back the old ones. Why fix the writing staff when it's not broken? 2.5/4 stars.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal2001 View Post
While the first three films in the series are pretty good (including the underrated third film), it seems the series has finally run out of steam for this fourth entry. I kept waiting for that magical mixture of comedy and drama that had made the other films so memorable to come to life here, but it never does.

The film does have some small comedic moments, but now that I think back on it, I can't remember a single one of them. It's pleasant enough to watch though, mainly because of the characters that we have come to know and love. They're all back for this entry: Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss, Gingie, and many others. The problem is that they simply aren't given much to do for this outing.

.....

The problems could simply be explained by the fact that this film was written by two different writers, Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke, than the previous entries. Perhaps they couldn't think of anything better to write, so by using the same basic plot and some allusions to the other films, they hoped it would work itself out. Sadly, that was not the case.
Thank you for this post
Iīve watched shrek 3D yesterday and thought it might be the fault of the lousy german translation...but when you wrote that you coudnīt find that 'speacial magical mixture of comedy' , too. Then i am pacified
It is nice to watch but i thought it was just made for 3D...
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