Review: Shrek Forever After
PLOT: All is not well in the land of “Far, Far Away”. Shrek (Mike Myers), and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) are happily married and raising their three Ogre babies, while Donkey (Eddie Murphy) has a brood of his own, and Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) is content being the family cat. However, Shrek's going through something of a midlife crisis- and a deal with Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohm) finds Shrek transported to another reality, where he's never been born. His only hope: reunite with Fiona, and undo his bargain with Rumpelstiltskin, who's now the ruler of “Far, Far Away”.
REVIEW: SHREK FOREVER AFTER is supposedly the final installment of the massively successful SHREK series, although many, myself included, would have been satisfied if the series had ended after the second film. This is perhaps a slight improvement SHREK THE THIRD (no Justin Timberlake as King Arthur), but on the whole it's fairly uninspired, and lazy.
The problem is simply that after the second SHREK, the series had nowhere to go. SHREK and Fiona already had their fairy-tale ending in the first film, while the second took the novel approach of showing us what happened after the storybook ended. Like SHREK THE THIRD, this is just a totally unnecessary film, and likely only exists to fill the cash coffers at DreamWorks (although considering the grosses on the last two film, who could blame them?). I mean, do we really need a whole film about SHREK's midlife crisis? Really?
All SHREK FOREVER AFTER is, is a retread of the first three films, although now it's in 3D (groan). It brings nothing new to the table, only gets by due to the likability of the characters. Mike Myers still makes a great SHREK, while Cameron Diaz brings the same warmth to Fiona that she did in the last few films. Eddie Murphy's up to the same old shtick as Donkey, meaning all he does is run around singing seventies and eighties pop songs. Antonio Banderas is the only one who gets something new to work with, as in this alternate universe, the swashbuckling Puss in Boots has gone to seed, and packed on the pounds. Supposedly Puss in Boots is getting his own spin-off, and while it remains to be seen how well the character will work on it's own, he still nails this kitty.
All the other great supporting characters from the SHREK universe return, with Larry King popping up briefly as the homely barmaid, and John Cleese and Julie Andrews are also back as Fiona's royal folks. We even get a return of The Gingerbread Man, now making a living as a gladiator for hire, and his slaughter of the animal crackers with a broken lollipop trident is the only joke that really worked for me (although a brief shout-out to Lionel Richie's 'Hello” also got a chuckle).
While I wasn't nuts about this installment of SHREK, I wouldn't be surprised if the kiddies still liked it, who I guess are who this is really made for, so if you have kids- go ahead and catch a matinee. All others, I'd say only give this a watch if you're a SHREK junkie, and can't wait for TOY STORY 3. It's not offensively bad, but it's still pretty blah.