Full of great laughs, Shrek 4 makes up for the painful Shrek The Third, but still lacks the heart of the first two.
- Who's going to like it: kids and fans of Shrek.
Also known as The Final Chapter, Shrek Forever After brings the saga to a fulfilling ending. The fourth Shrek tale begins shortly after Shrek The Third. Shrek, Fiona and their three beautiful ogre babies live happily in their swamp home surrounded by great long-time friends Donkey, Puss In Boots, Gingerbread Man, Pinocchio, Three Blind Mice, Three Little Pigs and Big Bad Wolf. Everything is perfect. Almost.
Upon the first birthday of his triplets, Shrek begins to feel trapped in his new life. He is no longer the ogre he used to be. Instead, he is a family man that nobody fears. After a high anxiety blow-up at his kids’ birthday party, Shrek walks alone through the forest and is approached by a sneaky, conniving trickster known as Rumpelstiltskin who offers him a magical deal that will give Shrek one day to live in a world where he can be a feared ogre once again. In return, Shrek must give up an insignificant day of his life to Rumpel.
Seeming like a harmless deal of a lifetime, Shrek signs the contract that hurls him into an alternate reality where his wish is granted – Shrek scares farmers, terrorizes the townsfolk, plays in the mud and does everything he has desired to do since his life made a drastic change. But his happy ogre day quickly turns into a nightmare when Shrek realizes that the day from his past that Rumpel took was the day of his own birth, creating a Back To The Future dichotomy that gives Shrek 24-hours to find a loophole in the contract before he ceases to exist. This task would be easy for Shrek, but the alternate reality he is stuck in is a cruel one – nobody that he knew in his real life now knows him.
The trailers for Shrek Forever After do not do the movie any justice. They make it look as bland and boring as Shrek The Third. While Shrek Forever After doesn’t quite grasp the heart that the first two Shrek movies had, it is definitely just as funny as the originals. The entire cast of returning characters feel like they have returned to their “old selves,” and the alternate-reality versions of them are fresh and perfect. The new characters are also impressively entertaining. The Rumpelstiltskin character feels like he joined the saga one film too late. It would have been great to see more of him prior to this – the “supposed” last Shrek film.
Although the animation isn’t anything to brag about and the 3-D is absolutely average and unnecessary, Shrek Forever After is definitely worth seeing – especially if you are a kid or a fan of the first two films. It is not perfect, but it is sure a lot of fun. The Final Chapter gives sweet closure to the characters we fell in love with nearly ten years ago.
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures
(4 out of 5)